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Petersen D91 bricks create a magical garden room in Hawthorn

Petersen D91 bricks used as a paving solution and feature wall

An abundance of creativity and re-imagination, along with a sensitive, considered design, has transformed a tangle of spaces in a 1980s Hawthorn home to accommodate a growing, active family. By creating more space and warmth, and an abundance of natural light, Templeton Architecture has cleverly activated all parts of this home creating better connections and contemporary spaces in which the family wants to spend time.

One of the most visibly impressive spaces in the external design is the transformation of the old entranceway and driveway – the top of which acted as an open car park – in to a graceful pedestrian walkway that leads to a magical garden room. “It becomes an extension of the house, which is a much better use of the space, with an open fireplace and a pizza oven. So it becomes almost like the adult entertaining area, just like a room,” comments Emma Templeton, Director, Templeton Architects.

Of course, one of the most challenging parts of a renovation for any architect is seamlessly integrating existing conditions and materials with the new design. For Emma and her team, this this meant celebrating the geometric forms of the existing house, while removing dated 1980s features and details, and simplifying the generous volumes.

Petersen D91 brick feature wall and paving

“Renovations do tend to pick the materials for you, and what we had was a very solid building of rendered external walls, which were the dominant feature of the forms and volumes, which is a lovely backdrop,” Emma remarks.

So when it came to the hard landscaping decision, Emma and her team searched for something solid so that it was in the same hierarchy and family as the external walls. “But I wanted something soft to contrast with the flat rendered backdrop,” Emma explains.

The main entrance of the house is up the pedestrian walkway at the side of the house and through the courtyard where the fireplace is. So material choice in these spaces was crucial in setting the tone for the remainder of the design.

Enter Petersen D91 bricks, which were selected as a step stone for the pedestrian walkway, a paver for the front entranceway, and a feature wall enclosing the brick fireplace and pizza oven. “The texture of the brick paver and the brick fireplace really met the objective for something soft, and also gave us a lot of flexibility with the layout of the paving design and the small module fire, so we could really play with it,” Emma comments.

And play with the bricks, Emma certainly did. For the front pedestrian walkway, Emma explains, “We created a step stone effect using the Petersen bricks, which turned into a paver as you approached the house, then you walk past the backdrop of the fireplace, so there’s a beautiful wall as a texture as you walk in.” The Petersen bricks also work wonderfully with bluestone, which is used as a cobblestone on the driveway, and as cladding on the pool walls and garden beds. “Because all of the other materials were bluestone and really flat cool colours, the colour range in the Petersen bricks allows you to choose something that will work, but the texture just gives it a bit more warmth. And the colour is just perfect to blend with everything,” Emma remarks.

Emma really has created an inviting entranceway and relaxed courtyard for the lucky family who lives here, which works in perfect harmony with the remainder of the elegantly designed and beautifully appointed home.

Photography: Duncan Jacobs

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