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The visionary Elwood House wins Australia’s Best Residential Development

Elwood House,  Petersen brick facade, K55 and F55 bricks

At its completion in 2017, Elwood House surprised its residents - who all bought off the plan prior to construction - with an outcome far better than they imagined. With a design more than fitting for its leafy green and well-established bayside environment, Elwood House reflects sophisticated architectural detail at its best.

Since then, Elwood House has made its mark beyond the bayside suburb, notching up eight industry awards and recognition over two years. The most recent being the prestigious Property Council of Australia’s National Award for Best Residential Development 2019.

Robertson’s Building Products extends heartfelt congratulations to the inspiring and innovative team behind this collaborative development – Piccolo, Woods Bagot (external façade) and Hecker Guthrie (internal design).

When you read all about Elwood House, it’s easy to see why the awards continue to flow in.

Located on the corner of Pine Avenue and Ormond Road, Elwood House begins with a magnificent tiered façade, layering natural, resilient materials, including handmade Petersen bricks, exquisite off form concrete, metal and stone, along with irrigated balcony planter boxes abundant with greenery. And, with a design brief to ‘take the outside in,’ this façade ably sets the scene for what you’ll continue to find within each of the 30 luxury apartments over its four storeys: absolute quality and immaculate detail.

Given that every apartment sold prior to construction it was clear that the owner-occupier market of downsizers and affluent professionals had a discerning eye for quality. So, for the developer, the pressure was on to deliver. “Getting the details right is of upmost importance, as every single element – big and small – has a bearing on whether you exceed a purchaser’s expectations or not. We always want to surprise our clients with an outcome better than they imagined,” comments Michael Piccolo, Director, Piccolo.

Petersen K55 and F55 bricks, Elwood House

One of the biggest challenges in building Elwood House, from a practical viewpoint, was delivering on these expectations of detail. So material selection was absolutely critical.

From the developer’s point of view, choosing bricks – a key design feature of the façade – was an easy task. Petersen bricks instantly hit the mark. Toby Earle, Development Manager at Piccolo, says, “When we saw the product it just seemed to fit the mould. The colour palette and the slender profile of the brick was the clincher. And Petersen bricks were referenced and used locally in projects across Elwood, so we wanted to use them in the palette of materials.”

“When you look at the brick on mass, it looks almost like it’s got a fine grain to it, and we particularly liked the mix of handmade Kolumba and Flensborg bricks,” Toby continues. But, like any great artwork, getting the brick design right took time. “We spent a lot of time with Robertson’s Building Products playing around with the brick bonds to make them work,” Toby explains. As you can see, it was worth the time spent, and more. It’s an absolutely exquisite result, both outside and in.

Being a boutique development, creating a sense of individuality was important. So each Elwood House apartment is unique, with entirely bespoke interiors, designed as an individual house. The choice of Petersen bricks perfectly aligns with this design intent. Being handmade, every brick is unique, creating a rich tapestry of colours and a rustic, textured finish that adds just that little bit of extra interest. And, in line with ‘taking the outside in’, Petersen bricks beautifully complement the internal finishes as well, being used as feature walls in bedrooms and kitchens, and on the framed door entry to every apartment.

Petersen K55 and F55 bricks, Elwood House lightwell

Apart from the façade’s perfect blending of natural, textured materials, one of the most outstanding features of this luxury residential development is the three storey, brick lined atrium in the building’s foyer, complete with a water feature and reflection pool. “It’s an old fashioned breezeway, taken to another level, and one of the most dramatic and successful parts of the building,” Toby remarks. The sense of space and calm is overwhelming. “That mix of resilient materials and the surprise you get when you walk through the foyer, with this natural space, like a huge chimney, is just amazing,” Toby says.

Of course, the real test was in the satisfaction of the owners themselves. “The response from all was outstanding, they’ve been absolutely wrapped” Toby advises. It seems that while you can’t always guarantee absolute success when you buy off the plan, in the capable and creative hands of this dynamic trio of professionals, the only guarantees are zero risk and 100% satisfaction.

Additional Awards for Elwood House:

Winner, Victorian Development of the Year, 2019, Property Council of Australia

State Award Winner, Medium Density Development, 2019, Urban Development Institute of Australia

Commendation, Interior Design Awards, 2018, IDEA Interior Design Excellence Awards

Judges’ Award, Metropolitan Melbourne, 2018, Urban Development Institute of Australia

State Award Winner, Construction Excellence, 2018, Master Builders Australia

Commendation, Victorian Architecture Awards, 2018, Australian Institute of Architects

Winner, Multi-unit and Mixed Use Development, 2018, City of Port Phillip

Architect: Woods Bagot

Developer: Piccolo

Interior Design: Hecker Guthrie

Product: Petersen K55 bricks (528 x 108 x 37mm) and FF55 bricks (228 x 108 x 40mm)

Photographer: Shannon McGrath



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