Architecture practice Tecture has used a palette of monochromatic materials to modernise, expand and connect a unique Australian homestead back to its stud farm surroundings. Based locally in Melbourne, Tecture reinvented this traditional 1980s Australian farmhouse in Geelong’s rural region of Ceres by converting it into a contemporary home for a growing family, who were just as keen to preserve their past as they were to progress into a modern age.
Rising to the challenge, Tecture Director Ben Robertson tells us that the client’s need for more generous spaces and the inclusion of modern amenities informed the homes redesign. However, to avoid simply creating a new structure, Ben and his team focussed instead on internal refinements to streamline the existing home with the addition of a small extension. They first set about resurrecting the existing blockwork walls by applying a grey concrete render, and then built a contrasting black, cantilevered extension to unite the old with the new. The old verandah was replaced with generous Juliette style doors that open wide to become the new heart of the home and connect the family with the great outdoors surrounding them.
Inside, the Ceres Gable House is designed with understated tones such as charcoals, greys and blacks to create a neutral palette that contrasts with the surrounding farmland. It’s a confident, masculine palette that’s softened by natural light, architectural curves, bespoke fixtures and designer furniture that marry the contemporary design with the family’s artwork and equestrian heritage.
Opting for a series of carefully choreographed zones, each space draws visitors through the house offering a different experience. Creating a sense of arrival, the entranceway features Herringbone floors that meet French grey oak panelled walls and a Michael Anastassiades Tip of the Tongue wall light that casts an elegant tone against a mirrored panel. A few steps further down the hall and a 3.5m custom chandelier by Volker Haug presides over the stairwell cavity connecting the ground floor. It’s a centrepiece with a subtle nod to the equine (note the horseshoe design) and continues to subtly reinforce the tone of the home.
Sharing a design sensibility with the client gave Tecture the perfect platform from which to build on the original house and its spatial restrictions to create something just as impressive as the stud farm it sits on.
At one end of the house, an open kitchen, dining and living space continues the theme with French grey oak timber floors that work to unite each zone. Dark cabinetry throughout provides plenty of storage while furniture in warmer tones softens the overall look. The About a Stool in a cognac leather punctuates the stone benchtop and the Douglas & Bec Line Pendant 04 adds a touch of sculptural glamour, while the Gubi Beetle Chairs introduce a soft, feminine silhouette to an otherwise masculine interior.
At the other end of the home, four bedrooms, a study and bathrooms all form the private living quarters. The bathroom is well worth a mention with its classic white Herringbone tiles, creamy stone surfaces and accents of iron that creates a minimal yet feminine aesthetic. In juxtaposition, the study features floor-to-ceiling dark timber cabinetry and grey carpet with the Magis Officina chair offering another touch of iron and leather.
A focus on the meeting of materials and contrasts of tone has been used to define different zones and create a striking visual contrast- both inside and out. The talented Tecture team has single-handly realigned the volume and geometries of the Ceres Gable House with its vast surroundings. We think the design champions the family’s past and present while celebrating their unique equestrian history and if it’s a prelude for things to come, then we can’t wait to see what’s next for this emerging design studio.