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An Architect’s Iconic Carlton House Is For Sale For The First Time

On The Market

Denton Corker Marshall (the architects behind Melbourne Museum and Bolte Bridge, to name a couple) are one of Australia’s most internationally-recognised firms, but their single residential projects are few and far between. 

Among a handful of standalone homes the practice has created is ‘Tube House’, owned and co-designed by their senior director Adrian FitzGerald, which will soon change hands for the first time.

If you’ve ever swum at Carlton Baths, you may be familiar with the home’s distinct facade, characterised by three vertically arranged ‘tubes’, including one clad in lime green coloured timber!

The house is a contemporary take on the classic terraces Carlton is famous for, and is bound to sell quickly!

5th March, 2021

‘Tube House’, one of very few houses designed by acclaimed architects Denton Corker Marshall, is for sale. Photo – Chris Alexander

The home is located on Carlton laneway. LEft: Photo – Chris Alexander Right: Photo – Tim Griffith.

The subdivided site was purchased back in 2006 by Adrian FitzGerald, senior director at Denton Corker Marshall, and his partner Janet Watts, who designed the home. Photos – Chris Alexander

The three-storey home offers incredible city views. Photos – Chris Alexander

Photo – Tim Griffith.

A courtyard separates the main house from a separate studio. Left: Photo – Tim Griffith. Right: Photo – Chris Alexander

The home won the prestigious National Australian Institute of Architects Architecture Award for Residential Architecture in 2008. Photo – Chris Alexander

This sale marks the first time the home will be sold. Photos – Chris Alexander

Amelia Barnes
Friday 5th March 2021

‘We jumped on the opportunity to buy, design, build and occupy! A dream for any architect!’ 

‘Tube House’ in Carlton is one of the country’s most acclaimed homes (having taken out the prestigious National Australian Institute of Architects Architecture Award for Residential Architecture in 2008), and it’s currently for sale for the first time.

The subdivided site was purchased in 2006 by Adrian FitzGerald, senior director at Denton Corker Marshall, and his partner Janet Watts, alongside fellow architects Hamish Lyons and Astrid Jenkins, who built next door.  ‘We jumped on the opportunity to buy, design, build and occupy! A dream for any architect!’ Janet says.

Adrian and Janet were keen to honour Carlton’s established architectural vernacular (dominated by Victorian terraces) in their new house, but in a contemporary manner, with better access to natural light, and in keeping with modern regulations.

Working with the narrow block (6.6 x 23 metres), the couple designed a three-storey plan characterised by three vertically stacked ‘tubes’, with floor-to-ceiling glass at either end for light.  The uppermost tube is 13 metres long, while the central tube is 4.4 metres wide, which cantilevers to protect the carport, and front and rear entries. Most distinct is the lime green central tube, which asserts a dominant presence over neighbouring Carlton Baths.

Adrian calls the property a ‘contemporary interpretation of the terrace house in the ResCode-era.’ Some have likened the property’s tube to the stacked containers in Jeffrey Smart’s famous paintings.

As well as winning an AIA award, the project won the 2009 Dulux Interior Design – Commendation Award for Colour in Residential Interiors.

After 14 years in the home, over which time Adrian and Janet’s children have become adults, the couple have recently decided to sell. With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study, carport, and separate backyard studio, this distinctive home in Melbourne’s inner north won’t be on the market for long!

20 Coleman Place, Carlton, Victoria is being sold by Peter Stephens and Isabelle McEwan-Marion at Nelson Alexander. For more information, see the full listing.

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