Toorak House by Cera Stribley

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    We take a tour of the recently completed Myvore House by Melbourne-based studio Cera Stribley Architects in collaboration with Alice Villella of AVID.

    This monumental house in Toorak is located at the end of a court. Given its size, approximately 100 squares, one would expect it to dominate this highly coveted enclave. However, the house, designed by Cera Stribley Architects with interiors by Alice Villella of AVID belies its scale (there’s a fall of 6 metres across the 1200-square-metre site that conceals the home’s four levels, including a basement). “The starting point came from manipulating the form to both maximise the views of the garden (designed by landscape architect Phillip Withers) and the northern light,” architect Dom Cerantonia says, who worked closely with co-director, architect Chris Stribley.

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    The living room features the Bell Coffee and Side Table by Sebastian Herkner for ClassiCon.

    Designed for a couple who love entertaining at home, the brief was fairly succinct, with a need for a wing for themselves, together with a separate wing for guests. Other requirements, such as a basement garage for seven cars were included, along with a theatrette and room for their wine collection (all at basement level). The scale is further reduced by the treatment of each floor, with the ground floor constructed in brick anchoring the boomerang-shaped form, with the upper level clad in copper, curvaceous and cantilevered to embrace the site, as well as filtering the sunlight.

    Pivotal to the design is the grand lobby, with its plastered staircase set within a double-height void. Conceived as a piece of sculpture, the void and staircase loosely delineate the more private spaces within the home with the kitchen, dining and living areas on one side, and the guest bedrooms and entertainment wing, including the pool and alfresco dining area, on the other. To capture the spirit of this home, one can easily draw out some of the most impressive areas.

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    The entrance features the Arrow Pendant Light by Apparatus Studio above a Den Holm table.

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    The Cab Stool by Mario Bellini for Cassina and Meshmatics Pendants by Moooi in the kitchen and dining room.

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    The timber kitchen joinery features Tura Collection hardware from Pittella.

    The kitchen, for example, featuring a two-metre-wide marble island bench cantilevered above fluted veneer joinery, is the hub of the house, along with the dining area framed by a split-faced wall containing an open fireplace. A joinery unit, complete with glass-fronted fridge, conceals a generous butler’s pantry. In the other wing, dedicated to alfresco dining, there’s a concrete porte-cochere with a generous skylight and complete with an aluminium shutter to diffuse the overhead light.

    And in the private quarters, the main bedroom, walk-in dressing area and sumptuous bathroom take luxury to a new level. The Alva Aalto-shaped bath, framed by a curved tiled wall (to conceal the shower) is breathtaking, as is the level of detail given to the joinery in the walk-in dressing area, more akin to a high-end boutique. Every guest bedroom also comes with its own colour scheme, including carpets and drapes, to personalise each room.

    Each of the spaces also comes with its own character. The theatrette at basement level is dark and moody, while the terrace and roof garden are more tropical in feel, offering panoramic views of Melbourne’s skyline.

    The Toorak house is certainly large, but not so compared to many Toorak mansions built these days. And rather than covering the entire site, it covers less than 50 per cent of the site, allowing the garden views, including a neighbour’s established garden, to feel part of the property. “You don’t feel like you’re entering a new home,” Dom Cerantonio says, “even though it’s just been built.”

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    The outdoor entertaining area features the Kristalia Elephant Dining Chair.

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