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A Not So Suburban Family Home

Architecture

An open brief and an old family friend were the starting points for Billy Kavellaris, director of Kavellaris Urban Design Architecture (KUD), for this eye-catching architecture project. The Ivanhoe House is a family home positioned on a regular, suburban street in Melbourne’s north-east – but this is no ordinary home in the ‘burbs.

A theatrical architectural statement of luxurious textures and bold geometry, this house delights with its surprising flourishes!

10th January, 2019

The formidable façade (and surprising curved wall!) of the ‘Ivanhoe House’ by KUD Architecture. Photo – Billy Kavellaris.

Looking out from the kitchen and dining spaces to the courtyard. Photo – Billy Kavellaris.

Photo – Billy Kavellaris.

The artwork in the front entryway that plays off the west-facing light was also commissioned and constructed by KUD Architecture. Photo – Billy Kavellaris.

Viridian custom double-glazed unit with reflective coating. Photo – Billy Kavellaris.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 10th January 2019

‘We wanted to make reference to 1950s architecture while at the same time narrating classical ideas in contemporary language.’ Billy Kavellaris, director of KUD Architecture. 

Departing from visions of a traditional suburban home, the Ivanhoe House by KUD Architecture makes a striking statement before you’ve even walked up the front steps. While it doesn’t reflect the style of other homes in the neighbourhood (take note of the terracotta tiled pitched roof next door in the corner of the exterior shots), this home literally reflects the street, in a large pane of black mirrored glass appearing to float alongside the formidable exterior.

Ascending the grand, paved staircase conveys a sense of arrival, an integral part of the design. ‘We wanted to make reference to 1950s architecture, while at the same time narrating classical ideas in contemporary language’, Billy explains, ‘this was translated by the grand entry point, accentuated by the ascending staircase that runs up the natural slope of the site.’ The brick façade and geometry are a nod to modernist architecture of the 50s and 60s, while an unexpected curved wall leaning into the entryway adds an element of contemporary delight.

Inside, the entry ‘snakes its way through the house’, opening up to the kitchen, dining areas and the living space, with a striking glass fireplace punctuating the dividing wall. A generous courtyard connects the indoor and outdoor spaces, with an extension of the interior wood paneled ceiling continuing over a portion of the outdoor area, creating the illusion of another room.

And now it’s time to talk about THE POOL. Undoubtedly the focal point of this house is its elevated pool, tiled in sky blue on three walls, and the fourth connected to the living room by a glass pane. Casting a blue shadow into the house, it’s this kind of WOW-factor that really sets this home apart. It’s clear that this project is the result of an unwavering trust between architect and client, a luxury that allowed Billy and his team the ultimate creative freedom, resulting in a truly unique family home.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net