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An Elegant Modern Home That Balances Indoor and Out

Sustainable Homes

For all the overarching promise of a title covenant (a fancy word for a heritage listing, or other restriction on what you can build on a piece of land), they can pose a significant challenge to bold architectural innovation. But sometimes, these restrictions can actually guide new inspiration.

For Travis Walton Architecture, it was the latter. The team worked within the stipulations of the title covenant on this Caulfield North property to produce an exciting modern renovation to this family home, while remaining sympathetic to the traditional styles of the neighbourhood.

10th June, 2020

A feast of stonework. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Perfectly planned and balanced materials accent every angle of the home. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

The internal courtyard floods the rear of the ground floor in natural light. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

The choreographed space is not quite open plan. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Interior design and architecture carry equal weight in this project, with one informing the other constantly. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

The room divider separates dining and living spaces. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Glimpses of stonework can be seen throughout. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Views of outside are layered to create a balanced vista. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

That marble side table! Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

The graphic interior palette is complemented by dark finishes and bold furniture. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Graphic green granite is the central feature wall! Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Cathedral ceilings on the second storey maximise the pitched roof requirement. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

The master bedroom! Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Marble work dominates the bathroom. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Inside and out are constantly at play. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Black charred timber cladding wraps the sides of the residence, complementing the landscape design by The Botanical Group. Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Stone masonry and a pitched roof were the legal boundaries the architectural team had to work within! Photo – Elisa Watson. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

Sasha Gattermayr
Wednesday 10th June 2020

‘Layered vistas are cast through the home, giving a sense of generosity and spaciousness.’ – Travis Walton, architect

The title covenant over this Caulfield North block (which previously housed a 1950s single-storey dwelling) required any new construction to be done with stone masonry and a pitched tile roof. In creating a totally new residence, Travis Walton Architecture took this criteria and ran with it. Their vision was driven from there!

‘In response to the restrictions, contemporary materiality became a key concept,’ explains director, Travis Walton, of the new designs. The stonework facade ticks the masonry box, while the timber-slatted pitched roof conceals a second storey. Internally, this translates to cathedral ceilings across the upstairs sleeping quarters which provide light and volume to the space.

This continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces is demonstrated in the interplay between materials. ‘The interior design and architecture work together seamlessly to achieve a design based on the play of materials; hard and soft, tactile and smooth, inside and outside,’ says Travis. Walls of striking green granite assume centre stage indoors, while graphic marble details are offset by the central charcoal bench and white terrazzo floors. Timber joinery brings warmth to this feast of varietal stonework.

Landscaping was integral to this project. And internal courtyard provides connection to the outdoors, while the north-facing living space wraps around the courtyard and is flooded with natural light. It also plays a part in balancing the architectural materials. ‘The masonry brick on the ground floor gives the building a sense of permanency and weight, but is softened by verdant landscaping,’ Travis explains.

Despite the perfectly choreographed floorpan and meticulously balanced material palette, the house is unassumingly futuristic in its use of green technology. The double brick construction has thermally broken windows, solar power (with a Tesla battery wall to store the extra energy) and a rainwater harvesting system. With such high efficiency, the house already supplies energy back into the grid!

This holistic, highly efficient home is a perfect harmony of opposites: hard and soft, heavy and light, indoor and outdoor.

See more projects from Travis Walton Architecture here.

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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