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

A Concrete Blanketed Sanctuary In Melbourne's East

Architecture

It might just be us, but the Hawthorn House by Melbourne architecture firm Edition Office has already become an iconic example of Australian residential architecture.

Featuring in countless architecture awards since its completion, today we are thrilled to give you an in-depth look at this recently completed masterpiece, a boundary-pushing sanctuary built for a family in Melbourne’s east.

2nd July, 2019

Edition Office‘s Hawthorn House. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The award-winning home features two iconic concrete shrouds. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The striking facade at once provide sanctuary and connects with the lush garden, Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The arched concrete shrouds evolved as a method of structurally supporting the house with its own skin. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The interior material palette and detailing is restrained. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Considerate detailing provides a sense of interior warmth and lightness. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The architects see the dwelling as a poetic vessel which can modify both experience of place and amplify and nurture the particular experiences of one’s daily life. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The family home is deeply enclosed while at the same time intensely open. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The architects handled, with care, the nature of the materials used and the volumes and form to make strong concrete functional in a family home. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Concrete continues to be heroed indoors. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Floor to ceiling windows for the study. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

The best of indoor/outdoor living. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Bathroom on the second level. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Second-level bedroom. Photo – Ben Hosking. Styling – Marina Breit.

Elle Murrell
Tuesday 2nd July 2019

‘We see the project, beyond its core function of dwelling, as a poetic vessel which can modify both experience of place’ – Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland.

After a long working day, there’s nothing more comforting than retreating to a sanctuary, a refuge that at once feels private, yet connected to the natural world. Edition Office’s award-winning Hawthorn House in Melbourne’s East achieves such aims in spectacular fashion – combining a striking pair of large, heavily textured concrete shrouds with a lush outdoor terrace and garden.

‘The brief was to design a home that would age gracefully; a private yet open house with multiple living areas, to allow children and adults within the family to grow and have their changing needs accommodated over time,’ explain Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland, Directors of Edition Office.

Upon first reading the site, the duo had to come to terms with the opportunities (specifically three wonderful old trees) and constraints (the need to balance privacy and refuge, whilst providing excellent connectedness to the outdoors).

Drawing inspiration from monolithic masonry buildings, the work of Pezo Von Ellrichshausen and Juliaan Lampens’ Brutalist Vandenhaute Kiebooms House, the architects responded with ‘a deceptively simple and singular solution’. Their commanding, window-less concrete arches, so dense they seem to blanket the dwelling, act as shells for the first-floor sleeping and bathing spaces. At the same time, these primary structural elements provide clear connectivity between the entire landscape of the site and the living areas at ground level.

Inside, the architects practiced restraint in terms of material palette and detailing, believing this ‘strengthens rather than smothers the experiential quality of the project’. Considerate detailing provides a sense of interior warmth and lightness, for example, balustrades and door handles are composed of elemental intersections of brass, timber, and concrete, which will patina with use over time.

‘We see the project, beyond its core function of dwelling, as a poetic vessel which can modify both experience of place and amplify and nurture the particular experiences of one’s daily life,’ reflect Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland. ‘It is at once civic and domestic, deeply enclosed while being intensely open, highly exposed while being effortlessly private, it is heavy yet also surprisingly light.’

A space of complementary contrasts, this home is one we’ve no doubt will stand the test of time.

This Week

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Food

7 Days Of Home-Cooked Meal Ideas from Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of comfort food gives us a menu of nourishing meal ideas, plus a mega shopping list for all of it!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Architecture

Elevating A Classic Queenslander, In More Ways Than One!

In Teneriffe House, Vokes and Peters put their own spin on a classic 'raise and build under' Brisbane renovation.

Homes

An Original Mid-Century Queenslander With Millennium Modern Flair

This Queenslander was built in 1964 and designed by acclaimed modernist architect John Dalton. Now, it is Bronwyn Labagnara's family home in...
Jo Hoban

Dream Job

The General Manager Of Raes On Wategos Scored Her Dream Job, In Everyone's Dream Location

Francesca Webster's job at one of Australia's most iconic hotels is around-the-clock 365 days a year, and she loves every second of it!
Sasha Gattermayr

Times Like These

Times Like These... With Artist And Designer Beci Orpin

Feeling weird? Us too. Welcome to our new weekly series to help us combat all the strange feels by sharing the experiences of creatives we k...

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

An overview of the key MIFGS exhibitors, who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Three Amazing Homes, As Seen At Palm Springs' Modernism Week

Take a virtual tour of three, iconic mid-century houses we visited at Palm Springs Modernism Week, 2020.

Architecture

When Two Homes Become One

Two adjacent houses in Fitzroy North become one very unique family home, by Austin Maynard Architects.
2:34

Home Goals

Sophie & Dale Vine Share Their Home Renovation In Geelong

Sophie and Dale Vine talk us through their slow and steady DIY home renovation, in partnership with Bendigo Bank.

Modernist Australia

Terrazzo Marble Floors + Indoor Garden Oasis = A Modernist Masterpiece (On The Market)!

An inspiring example of great ingenuity from the early '60s that has to be seen to be believed!
Patricia Callan

Studio Visit

A Studio Tour with Simone Haag and Irina Rybakov of Pépite, at 'Le Space'

A studio visit with super stylist Simone Haag at 'Le Space', a new David Flack-designed studio space in Collingwood!
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A New Home Infused With Heritage Character

The Brighton Home by Caisson Architects is a spacious family home that merges modernity with historical context.

Architecture

A Beautiful, Sustainable Home On A Surprisingly Small Footprint

A minimalist, eco-conscious three bedroom home in Cape Paterson, by The Sociable Weaver.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

The Winners Of The 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards Are Announced!

The Australian Institute of Architects has spoken... so... which Victorian house is the fairest of them all!?
Elle Murrell

This Week

Architecture

When Two Homes Become One

Two adjacent houses in Fitzroy North become one very unique family home, by Austin Maynard Architects.

Modernist Australia

Terrazzo Marble Floors + Indoor Garden Oasis = A Modernist Masterpiece (On The Market)!

An inspiring example of great ingenuity from the early '60s that has to be seen to be believed!
Patricia Callan

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.
2:34

Home Goals

Sophie & Dale Vine Share Their Home Renovation In Geelong

Sophie and Dale Vine talk us through their slow and steady DIY home renovation, in partnership with Bendigo Bank.

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

An overview of the key MIFGS exhibitors, who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Original Mid-Century Queenslander With Millennium Modern Flair

This Queenslander was built in 1964 and designed by acclaimed modernist architect John Dalton. Now, it is Bronwyn Labagnara's family home in...
Jo Hoban

Architecture

Three Amazing Homes, As Seen At Palm Springs' Modernism Week

Take a virtual tour of three, iconic mid-century houses we visited at Palm Springs Modernism Week, 2020.

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Architecture

Elevating A Classic Queenslander, In More Ways Than One!

In Teneriffe House, Vokes and Peters put their own spin on a classic 'raise and build under' Brisbane renovation.

Food

7 Days Of Home-Cooked Meal Ideas from Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of comfort food gives us a menu of nourishing meal ideas, plus a mega shopping list for all of it!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Dream Job

The General Manager Of Raes On Wategos Scored Her Dream Job, In Everyone's Dream Location

Francesca Webster's job at one of Australia's most iconic hotels is around-the-clock 365 days a year, and she loves every second of it!
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Studio Visit

A Studio Tour with Simone Haag and Irina Rybakov of Pépite, at 'Le Space'

A studio visit with super stylist Simone Haag at 'Le Space', a new David Flack-designed studio space in Collingwood!
Sasha Gattermayr

Times Like These

Times Like These... With Artist And Designer Beci Orpin

Feeling weird? Us too. Welcome to our new weekly series to help us combat all the strange feels by sharing the experiences of creatives we k...

Similar Stories

Architecture

A New Home Infused With Heritage Character

The Brighton Home by Caisson Architects merges modernity with historical context.

Architecture

A Beautiful, Sustainable Home On A Surprisingly Small Footprint

A minimalist, eco-conscious three bedroom home in Cape Paterson.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

The Winners Of The 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards Are Announced!

The Australian Institute of Architects has spoken... so... which Victorian house is the fairest of them all!?
Elle Murrell