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A Sweeping + Secluded Suburban Home

Architecture

An empty-nester’s traditional trajectory is to downsize from a family home. But with an expanding list of nearby grandchildren to stay close to, Luke Fry’s latest clients decided to move away from their inner-city apartment and into a traditional family house in Melbourne’s south-east.

Keeping nothing but the heritage facade, the house was completely redesigned in a sleek and modern style to accommodate a revolving door of family members.

16th June, 2022

The rear extension is the most striking part of the build, incorporating an open-plan living, dining and kitchen space into the one room. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Organic structural curves and sweeping white walls offset the use of heavy concrete throughout. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A constant interplay of light and heavy provides both interest and relief. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Foamy-hued marble and safe green cabinetry echo the greenery of the natural surrounds. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The kitchen contains pops of colour. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The dining room overlooks the rolling lawn and pool at the rear of the plot. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A spacious kitchen island for gathering around. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Internal arches mirror the curved wall elements. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The bathroom material palette remains consistent throughout. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Standing at the back of the house looking towards the front, residents can glimpse the bedrooms and open living spaces across the lawn. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Clever glazing interventions integrate indoor and outdoor environments designed by Greenbits. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 16th June 2022

‘Natural stone features heavily throughout the project, some selected for their cool and calming nature and others as a bold statement.’ – Luke Fry

When the owners of this ‘straight and sound’ Glen Iris home purchased the property, there were mercifully few tricky elements for their architects to contend with. It was in near-original condition.

‘The benefits of this were that we didn’t have to deal with someone else’s renovation,’ says architect Luke Fry. ‘There was nothing to salvage other than the period facade and a few key interior details.’

Luke kept the bedrooms in the footprint of the original house and added a formal lounge to one of the front rooms. 

A rear extension constitutes the rest of the house and most of the new build. This ‘main focus of the house’ contains an open-plan kitchen, living and dining space overlooking the adjacent pool pavilion and garden. 

Structural curves inspired by the original facade lend organic lines to a house otherwise defined by its sleek, minimalist palette. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows are neatly plotted along the garden side of the extension to frame the rolling lawn and greenery (designed by Greenbits) beyond, working harmoniously with the sage cabinetry and foam-coloured marble. 

These subtle interior details create a fluid portal between the natural and built environments necessary in such a small space.

The client’s brief for a calm and secluded dwelling has been achieved due to this restrained and elegant design!

See more projects by Luke Fry 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