This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Understated, Architectural Home That 'Isn’t Up Itself'

Architecture

There is a relaxed precision to the Pleated House in Highett by Megowan Architectural.

This especially comes through in the communications with architect Christopher Megowan, who provides us with a sophisticated description of the design intent… but also cheerfully notes that the best aspect of the house is that it ‘isn’t up itself.’

Take a tour through this client-built home of understated excellence. No fuss, no nonsense, plenty of architectural delight.

9th April, 2019

The Pleated House by Megowan Architectural. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

Fresh and unpretentious! Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

The home opens out to indoor/outdoor living. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

Simple and refined kitchen. Photo – Tom Blachford.

This relaxed pooch has got the right idea!  Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

Clerestory windows welcome light in. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

Bathroom details. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Claire Taffe.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 9th April 2019

‘A simple flat-roofed box out the back just wasn’t going to be an option’ – Christopher Megowan.

The Pleated House renovation by Megowan Architectural in Highett, Victoria, was constructed by homeowner Kieron Christ, and architect Christopher Megowan explains that the builder’s skill set directly informed the design of the home.

Christopher highlights ‘the home was going to be built by a well-traveled roof plumber, and stylist Claire Taffe, so a simple flat-roofed box out the back just wasn’t going to be an option.’ From here, the pleated form was developed!

The original single-storey weatherboard house was redesigned with the addition of a folded roof, and charred cypress cladding. Christopher highlights that in textile construction, a ‘pleat’ requires precise folding and heating, and the design of this home take inspiration from this painstaking process. Charred and oiled cypress wraps around the home, contrasting with the existing weatherboard. The garage and veranda extension at the front of the home have also been updated with the new charred timber addition, as a way to create a distinct but connected relationship between the old and new aspects of the home.

The renovations also bring increased natural light into the home through the introduction of six clerestory windows (new word alert!). Meanwhile, the roof form riffs on midcentury modernist influences (Donald Wexler, Barry Berkus, and Pierre Koening) – while also taking inspiration from structures a little closer to home. Christopher explains that the folding roof silhouette pays homage to the iconic bathing boxes which dot Port Phillip Bay.

The charm of this design is in the understated execution, and strong design aesthetic. Christopher highlights ‘perhaps my favourite aspect on this project is that while the project is no doubt designed, considered and resolved, it isn’t too serious, “up itself” or pretentious.’ A down-to-earth design that perfectly reflects the relaxed personality of the clients, while remaining underpinned by a committed design intent.

This Week

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the

Interiors

A Sydney-Meets-Melbourne Family Terrace

Full of Grace Interiors bring Melbourne design influences to this breezy Sydney home.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

Architecture

A Minimalist Home Where The Landscape Takes Centre Stage

This Mount Mellum, Queensland home by Sparks Architects is all about its incredible views, taking in the ocean and D'Aguilar Range!

Food

Julia's Strawberry Crumble Cake

A golden, nutty butter cake with crunchy oat topping and a layer of spiced strawberry, from food columnist Julia Busuttil Nishimura.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  17 hours ago

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

On The Market

A Rammed Earth Masterpiece With Sweeping Mountain Views

Rarely are the stunning architectural homes we feature for sale... but this jaw-dropping Peter Stutchbury Architecture-designed home is!
Marcus Lloyd-Jones

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

An East Ballarat Home Inspired By Iconic Australian Architecture

Explore the self-designed vernacular house of architect Nathan Porter.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

An Anti Open-Plan Home

The 'Light Corridor House' by Figr Architects in Cremorne proves that bigger isn't always better.

Architecture

A Generous And Spacious Family Dream Home

Architecture firm Preston Lane transform this suburban Melbourne home into a space of dramatic volume and light, with a few surprising detai...

This Week

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

Interiors

A Sydney-Meets-Melbourne Family Terrace

Full of Grace Interiors bring Melbourne design influences to this breezy Sydney home.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

On The Market

A Rammed Earth Masterpiece With Sweeping Mountain Views

Rarely are the stunning architectural homes we feature for sale... but this jaw-dropping Peter Stutchbury Architecture-designed home is!
Marcus Lloyd-Jones

Food

Julia's Strawberry Crumble Cake

A golden, nutty butter cake with crunchy oat topping and a layer of spiced strawberry, from food columnist Julia Busuttil Nishimura.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  17 hours ago

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!

Architecture

A Minimalist Home Where The Landscape Takes Centre Stage

This Mount Mellum, Queensland home by Sparks Architects is all about its incredible views, taking in the ocean and D'Aguilar Range!

Similar Stories

Architecture

An East Ballarat Home Inspired By Iconic Australian Architecture

Explore the self-designed vernacular house of architect Nathan Porter.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

An Anti Open-Plan Home

The 'Light Corridor House' by Figr Architects in Cremorne proves that bigger isn't always better.

Architecture

A Generous And Spacious Family Dream Home

Architecture firm Preston Lane transform this suburban Melbourne home into a space of dramatic volume and light, with a few surprising detai...

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.