When the block adjoining Jason Perry’s recently completed contemporary home in Malvern became available, Jason saw no option but to purchase it. To safeguard the views on his northern boundary, extend his backyard and, most importantly, provide a new home for his Mum, Wendy, to move into so she could be close to his family in her twilight years.
“With the help of my fellow director, Martyn Toogood, we built a three bedroom double storey house on the front section of the block, with common stairs at the back where the kids can walk up and down, and Mum can come in to our house any time she wants to. That was the main objective. The whole idea was to create a great flow between our two houses, and keep it very modern. Our house is square so we wanted it like that as well,” Jason, Director, Merion Properties, says.
And with additional creative input by Joel Lava, Director, Designworx Architects, Jason’s Mum now has a unique, complementary home with plenty of character and a strong street presence. And, as with any build, it didn’t come without its challenges. In this case, it was creating a single level living platform on a narrow, sloping block.
“We had to work with the narrowness of the site but give it some street presence, so we emphasised the vertical aspect of the building to create that significant form from the street view. We worked with the slope of the land and lifted the building up from the front of the street, so once Jason’s Mum was in the house she had single level living. She can go into her backyard with no steps, and get back down to the front with no steps in the driveway.”
Of course, you don’t achieve such a unique result without quality materials. And bricks are indeed the hero of Elizabeth House.
“We searched everywhere to find a 50mm brick, and we stumbled across it at Robertson’s showroom in Cremorne. Very few people do the 50mm bricks now, especially in the colour that we wanted. We have a light cream colour on our home, and we wanted something that was sympathetic to that as well. And we found that the Krause bricks in Smoke Grey were the perfect fit,” Jason recalls.
Joel couldn’t agree more. “We wanted the bricks to stand out and be the main feature of the front façade. The Krause brick worked well because it’s really unique in colour and texture. And what we most like about it is that it actually changes colours throughout the day; as the sun and shade hits it, it changes slightly. So it’s the colour contrast and the texture. Also because the brick is randomly laid, it breaks up the solidness of the form as well, which is great,” Joel remarks.
Krause bricks feature on the external façade and staircase, and on the front fence. Any other material was chosen to complement, not overtake the bricks. In fact, zinc is the only other external material used on the façade in a fairly simple pattern.
As Joel says, there is no doubt that the Krause bricks, “bring a lot of character and texture to the building,” and that, “without those bricks, it would be a fairly plain building.”
It’s not only Jason and his Mum who are ecstatic with the end result. “We’ve had an enormous amount of positive feedback from locals about how fantastic it looks. They say, ‘I can’t believe how good those two houses look next to each another.’ Ours is so modern that it did stand out and now having Mum’s there as well, it flows beautifully and has made a major impact on the street as well,” Jason comments.
Architect: Designworx Architects
Developer: Merion Properties
Builder: BJP Constructions
Photographer: Peter Bennetts