Selecting the material palette for a timeless, contemporary home can be a challenging task. Not so for Michael Gargano, Managing Director, Grandway Homes, and Laura, his wife. Because once they saw Petersen D91 bricks on a few homes in Toorak, including the Rob Mills designed, award-winning Hawksburn House, selecting the remaining materials was an incredibly seamless process.
“We saw the Petersen bricks on other jobs in Toorak, and just loved them, so we structured all of the other finishes around the look of the bricks,” Michael says.
Situated on a narrow corner block in Prahran, Petersen D91 bricks have been used to create an inset wall on the side elevation, being the longest, which will be given additional warmth with lush green plantings.
“I love everything about the Petersen bricks. I like the size of them, and the fact that they are handmade, so they have a non-uniform look; there’s lots of differentiation in them. And when they’re put together, they look amazing,” Michael remarks.
The inset wall is complemented by spotted gum cladding on the front facade, and aluminium cladding at the rear, creating the modern, contemporary home Michael and Laura were seeking.
It was fortunate for Michael that the material selection was a breeze, because the remainder of the build – a three bedroom, three lounge room home, with study and basement – was an almighty challenge.
Picture this: a triple storey home with an eight-metre frontage on a narrow corner block whose footprint runs boundary-to-boundary, including full perimeter basement with a suspended slab built on top.
“Tight sites are difficult at the best of times, but this one was made worse because we have Council land adjoining us on one side and a neighbour on the other, so we had to do all of the building within the confines of the property,” Michael explains.
Despite the challenges of the build, the end result was spectacular, particularly the articulation of the contemporary façade. The natural timber frontage, handcrafted grey Petersen bricks, and sleek aluminium cladding with matching tinted windows, are a wonderful combination.
“There is great symmetry between the finishes and fixtures all the way through, so it looks really beautiful,” Michael comments.
Inside thoughtful, considered design continues. The ground floor sits on polished concrete and is awash with natural light, courtesy of floor to ceiling glass and skylights. An expansive open plan kitchen and living room, all on polished concrete, opens to an L-shaped terrace with hot tub.
An American Oak staircase takes you to the second floor, housing the three bedrooms, two bathrooms and the second of three lounge rooms. Below the entry level, a well-equipped basement includes a media and wine room, and European laundry and a double garage with turntable.
This beautiful home created such a stir on the streets of Prahran that, after enjoying this space for two years, Michael and Laura sold their home in May this year following significant interest.
Designer/Builder: Grandway Homes
Product: Petersen D91 bricks
Photographer: Chris Ott Photography