Securing a block with parkland at both the front and the back is nothing short of a coup in the inner city. So you can imagine why the owners of this Toorak home were so adamant in making the space work, despite being bound by houses on either side and occupying a small block. Their solution? Bringing on Inglis Architects (who regular readers will remember from this recent South Melbourne home project) to create a home with generous proportions despite the spatial limitations. And what a home it is – we were immediately drawn to the striking front facade, where a breezeway brick screen creates a sense of drama and intrigue without jarring with its surrounds.
“It was our ambition to create a feeling of generosity through space and materiality” says Charlie Inglis of Inglis Architects. In a clever approach, the design draws on layers in structure and form to deliver on that ambition. From the secondary landscaped space behind the steel entry canopy of the front exterior to the insertion of a courtyard within the home there is a sense of the home unfurling itself as you experience its different spaces – many that are sheltered by that distinctive front facade. Rather than adhere to conventional restrictions, the floor plan moves the living area to embrace the park views at the rear, while bedrooms are elevated to the first floor to enjoy better privacy and views.
The materials and furnishings continue the sense of space and ease established by the architecture. Soft natural finishes and continuous features like floorboards, stone and masonry give the interiors a warm and hospitable atmosphere, while light fittings and furniture and purposefully simple and pared back to allow the spaces to breathe. The northern light embraced in the floorplan washes the home in natural sun over two stories, achieving elegance through composition and paring beautifully with the texture and volume of the spaces. While the property’s initial drawcard may have been its park-facing positioning, the unique character and masterful flow of the home have elevated a promising block to an architectural success story.
A refreshingly clean mix of materials and design objects maximise space in the interior design.