Esplanade House has a simple, limited palette on an exceptionally tight site. Yet the team at Mills Gorman Architects has worked its magic to create a light and spacious contemporary home in the heart of Port Melbourne that is nothing short of spectacular.
This flexible and highly functional space for a mature family of four contains the main living spaces on the upper level overlooking the terraced garden and pool. Downstairs houses two bedrooms, a bathroom, family room and kitchen opening up to the intriguing rear garden.
The team left no stone unturned in making practical use of every inch of the home’s limited footprint, while maximising light and amenity. It’s quite obvious that intricate planning was key. “We put a lot of effort into getting the planning right. We look at every space requirement objectively, work with what we’ve got, and prioritise our planning process. So, in the end, we have a building form that reflects the sun and the site and the views,” comments Peter Mills, Director, Mills Gorman.
Esplanade House’s most innovative feature is absolute case in point: A pool on top of the garage, backing onto the rear lane. The pool can be accessed from the parent’s retreat via a bridge and from the lower levels via the landscaped terraced garden beds that stretch all the way up to the pool’s edge. The garage is underneath the terrace, neatly tucked away under the pool. It’s such an innovative and clever feature, despite the challenges it presented during construction.
The simple palette of Petersen D91 bricks, glass and black colour bond roofing and side walls with a standing seam bring this edgy, contemporary home to life. The owners chose the Petersen bricks as they saw them elsewhere and fell in love with their textural beauty and tone.
Though this is the first time Mills Gorman has used Petersen bricks, it’s quite possibly not the last. “We are pretty wrapped in them; the Petersen bricks are wonderful. They’re such a beautiful brick and it adds an extra layer of quality to the whole building … The brick stands out because the colour bond roofing and the side walls are black and the brick is a light grey and it has beautiful textures to it, so they go together beautifully,” says Peter.
Mills Gorman’s clients worked side by side with the team throughout the entire planning and build phase, right down to plant selection for the garden. So, needless to say, they are exceptionally happy with the end result, and have been enjoying their new home for some months now. As for the Mills Gorman team, they are right to be proud of the exceptional result they have delivered.
Architect: Mills Gorman Architects
Product: Petersen D91 bricks
Builder: Clancy Constructions
Photographer: Emily Bartlett Photography