Rob Mills' Choose Your Own Adventure House

Ok, just a gentle warning that you might want to brace yourself. This is a real WHOA home; try not to drop your jaw at that brutalist staircase!

Celebrated Melbourne architect Rob Mills, director of Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors, shares his family home with us today, ahead of the Friday 29th announcement of the Victorian Architecture Awards. Today, he talks with us about converting a Melbourne warehouse into this extraordinary family home.

Lucy Feagins

The Armadale family home of Rob Mills has been shortlisted for its interior architecture of the Institute of Architecture awards. Photo – Mark Roper.

The original exterior brick façade, which was quite fragile and proved at times difficult to work with! Photo – Mark Roper.

Photo – Mark Roper.

Photo – Mark Roper.

An artful take on a spiral staircase. Photo – Mark Roper.

One of the biggest challenges faced by Rob and his team in the creation of this Armadale residence was that EVERYTHING is bespoke. This meant that each element had to be considered, designed, specified and procured from specialist crafts people. Photo – Mark Roper.

It’s important to be playful,’ says Rob, ‘when the west sun enters the house and hits the kitchen it radiates a golden glow throughout the living room – it creates something that’s really quite special.’ Photo – Mark Roper.

An aerial shot of THAT staircase. Photo – Mark Roper.

Each room of this extraordinary house has been carefully designed to create different moods. Photo – Mark Roper.

Rob has spent his entire career trying to discover what makes a house a pleasure to live in. We think he may have cracked the code! Photo – Mark Roper.

Rob has learned that for a space to feel calming, nurturing and warm, all elements need to feel visually ‘together’. Photo – Mark Roper.

Perhaps the most luxe bathroom of all time? Photo – Mark Roper.

The exterior of the award-winning home. Photo – Mark Roper.

Lucy Feagins
28th of June 2018

People often describe houses as being imbued with a particular personality. But today’s home, by Rob Mills, of Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors manages to capture multiple personalities and moods, all within the one building.

Rob has been working for 26 years to create ‘innovative and inspiring residences’ across Australia and around the world. The celebrated Melbourne architect has brought all of this experience together in the design of his family home, in a former industrial building in Armadale. ‘I have spent my career trying to discover what makes a house a pleasure to live in’ Rob explains… ‘and I’ve realised that it really is a sensory experience.’

The home demonstrates an intense attention to detail, where natural and artificial light is balanced throughout, and an inner sanctuary has been created through the clever use of masonry, concrete and insulation. A striking spiral staircase corkscrews through the site, and connects all levels of the home. Every room of the house is connected to the outdoors through thoughtfully placed windows, and a water feature which flows from the outdoors into the living room.

Rob explains that ‘the property itself has many personalities – you only need to look as far as the communal living spaces to realise that.’ While ‘rigorous interior design language’ is consistently applied throughout the house, the architect explains that the ‘winter room’ is particularly distinct. Inspired by an English study, this room ‘creates a completely different experience, compared to the living room that it is adjacent to.’

In addition to this cosy nook room, and the mind-bogglingly beautiful staircase, Rob’s family home also features a spectacular gold kitchen! For the architect, it was important to be playful and to create a space which offers a ‘sense of surprise’ (It sure does!). Rob explains that the ‘juxtaposition of these living spaces was to create a feeling of choice.’ With spaces like these on offer – honestly, HOW TO BEGIN to decide where to spend your afternoon!?

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