Port Melbourne House is the ultimate in contemporary luxury, with a masculine, solid edge.
The owner’s intent was straightforward: to exude quality and simplicity. And this extraordinary design, by Dana Meadows Architects, for Peter Wright and Associates, more than delivers.
Though modest from the street front, Port Melbourne House opens to an expansive home, complete with all the luxury fixtures, fittings and materials imaginable.
Think five bedrooms (two downstairs and three upstairs), open plan kitchen and living space on the ground floor, and a wine cellar and fully-equipped movie cinema in the basement. There’s rear-lane access to an existing garage that’s been revamped with the addition of a pool house complete with hidden TV screen, which can be comfortably watched from the in-ground pool in the backyard.
Bounded by a bluestone laneway, the monolithic, masculine design is tempered by clever material choice.
Masculine luxury begins outside with polished concrete render with black steel accents, softened and warmed by locally-made Krause Grampian Blue bricks, which border the front façade, run the full length of the laneway, and fold into the side entrance at the rear.
Dana explains, “There was so much polished concrete being used both inside and outside the house that I just wanted to bring that warmth in. And I just fell in love with the Krause bricks, and especially them being Australian made.”
Despite the Council’s initial concerns that the laneway wall would be too monolithic, the selection of Krause bricks really hit the mark:
“… the bricks really helped, particularly in the laneway where the bluestone is. And I had wanted to find a brick that had texture and warmth to it, to be able to contribute to the laneway ambiance. ”
Green plantings in the landscaped front garden are an additional soft touch, adding life and warmth to the entry. The drop-down wires hanging from the first floor balcony will be stunning when the plantings take hold, for which the bricks will be a beautiful backdrop.
Inside, quality, luxury and simplicity continue, and custom detailing abounds.
There are polished concrete walls, black pearl timber veneer cabinetry, Kustom Timber Oak flooring and natural white dolomite granite benches and splashback in the kitchen and butler’s pantry. Massive full height doors with 32mm jams continue the monolithic feel and you will not find one skirting board in the house, just a beautiful black shadowline giving a sense of depth around the home’s perimetre. And, to balance the absence of windows lining the laneway, cleverly placed skylights in the kitchen and upper halls add an abundance of natural light throughout.
What clearly sets this home apart, is Dana’s ability to add just the right balance of softness to the masculinity of palette. In particular, handmade Articolo wall and pendant lighting: “They bring that immediate softness to the rooms where everything else is so masculine and simple and minimalistic, creating a really nice balance,” Dana comments.
For Dana to say, “it all pulled together really well,” is quite the humble understatement. Port Melbourne House is a standout. It’s luxurious, incredibly masculine and monolithic, yet soft and beautifully simple in its presentation. And that is the art and hallmark of an exceptionally well-designed home, and one talented architect.
Product: Krause Grampian Blue bricks
Builder: Secon Constructions
Bricklayer: Shoreline Masonry
Landscaper: Alto Landscape and Design