What a wonderful way to start the next phase of your life – in a beautifully designed new inner city home in South Melbourne. Its rectilinear bold form fronts the street, providing an open yet private space, revealing itself inside as a remarkably spacious, warm and comfortable place to be.
Basking in natural materials, this three bedroom, three bathroom home is the work of the team at Neil Architecture, renowned for creating warm, functional and truly liveable spaces. And South Melbourne house is no exception. Not to mention their genuine skill in making a super tight site look and feel generously spaced, as well as drawing the outside in by taking full advantage of the views across to the neighbouring park.
“We always will try to use as many natural materials as possible – stone, timber, bricks. These clients were return clients, we’d done their original house, so they gave us the freedom to explore and push the materiality. Our inclination towards a really natural material palette happened pretty quickly, and we thought we’d go deep on that,” Jack Carolane, Architect, Neil Architecture, comments.
And push that materiality, they sure did. It’s a beautiful natural palette, yet with brilliantly striking contrasts to keep the overall design sharp. Greeted at the street front by sliding perforated steel screens and a stunning display of Krause Emperor bricks in Ghost, a natural cedar cladding stained in light grey completes the introduction. A number of planter boxes dot the perimeter, providing a layer of green to blur the line between the private house and public streetscape. It’s a crisp yet elegant palette that welcomes each resident and guest.
The Krause bricks in particular introduce a beautiful texture that pairs well with the overall palette, weaving their way inside and outside the home, cleverly connecting these spaces. “We chose Krause bricks because they’re locally made and we could be quite specific as to the colour selection used to create the desired aesthetic. And the Emperor bricks have a really interesting size, colour and texture,” Jack says.
“The Emperor Ghost have that mottled variation in colour – and we have a few large expanses of it, so it creates a really nice texture and works in really well with the other materials. The warmth of the brick in this project was selected to complement the greyer tones of the Spanish travertine floors throughout,” Jack continues.
In addition to the Krause bricks, the natural palette continues inside with, of course, the travertine floor as well as a natural grey oak. And once again, that sharp contrast is achieved with clever design accents, such as black detailing on the window frames and the fireplace hearth, as well as a beautiful and unexpected burgundy marble in the kitchen. There is never a dull moment in this stunning home.
Undoubtedly, the attraction of this home comes through the bold forms of the outside being complemented and warmed by the subtle variation inherent in natural materials. And as the years pass, this stunning South Melbourne home will continue to evolve beautifully as the vegetation in the courtyards and planters grows, giving these spaces yet another interesting dimension at different times of the day and year.
Architect: Neil Architecture
Product: Krause Emperor Bricks, Ghost
Builder: TCM Building Group
Photographer: Hilary Bradford