Surrounded by heritage homes, you might be forgiven for imagining a home built from 260 tonnes of granite would be somewhat of an eyesore. But finding new ways to explore timeless materials is something of a specialty for Melbourne studio b.e architecture, who manage to transform the often brutalist aesthetic of granite to a delicate, deft backdrop for modern living. The stone plays out beautifully across the home’s three storeys, complemented by restrained landscape architecture and a surprising private courtyard tucked away on the upper level.
While natural light, stone masonry and open plan spaces will certainly stand the test of both time and trends, this is a home not only designed to remain beautiful but to age gracefully. The stone will patina elegantly as the maples and rosemary grow, ensuring the spaces will become richer and even more alive as time passes.
“The beauty of the granite we selected was when split, it has this joyful naturally inherent quality where the quartz refracts the light” says architect Andrew Piva, one of the directors of b.e. The design took shape around granite as a unifying characteristic, leading to the creation of custom objects – such as the striking stone bath and basins – that both further the material palette but add a sense of flow throughout the interior and exterior architecture.
The interior spaces capture a sense of fun through an eclectic collection of art, design and vintage furniture and custom made pieces. Rather than jarring with the refined material backdrop, these items demonstrate the personality and lifestyle of the residents; artwork to ignite conversation, a sprawling dining table for entertaining, and perspex display boxes to house all kinds of trinkets yet also act as a coffee table. Just as the facade of the home subtly differentiates itself from its neighbours, the strong colour and texture of these features reject a rigid formality of furnishings and design objects.
This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue 27. Read the entire magazine online here.
Set enduring style in stone inside your home with hard-wearing pieces.