The clients of this Doncaster East, Melbourne project came to Studio Doherty and Enth Degree Architects requesting a tailor-made home for entertaining. Large living spaces (including a conversation pit capable of seating up to 20 people) were the priority, with a focus on capturing northern light and views of the garden.
Materiality was at the forefront of the design process. The clients (the owners of terrazzo stone company Fibonacci) were naturally interested in using terrazzo, but on the condition this wasn’t the hero material. Instead, they were excited by the prospect of a diverse range of finishes, giving Studio Doherty the freedom to design and apply these materials in unconventional, unexpected, and ‘kooky’ ways.
The architecture by Enth Degree draws on mid-century principles and the floorplan of a 1960s/1970s home previously on site. These influences carry through to the communal living areas showcasing a predominantly neutral palette—terrazzo floors, timber ceilings, and white textured stucco.
Studio Doherty were also inspired by modernist principles (the main bedroom joinery in particular is informed by mid-century design, both in scale and materiality), but sought to expand on these through deliberately bold, carefully infused colour.
Mardi Doherty, director of Studio Doherty, explains, ‘When designing the interior spaces, we were mindful of avoiding an aesthetic that boarded on the pastiche… The challenge was to reinterpret and reimagine these sources of inspiration in a way that felt very contemporary and unique.’
The clients made the uncommon request to not include any natural stone in the home. Instead, Studio Doherty were able to explore a range of more playful materials, such as a DTILE tile system, Japanese mosaic tiles, and powder coated steel.
The bathrooms are particularly daring, from the main en suite almost entirely clad in green mosaic tiles, to the bright blue bathroom. ‘It’s close in proximity to the conversation pit and outdoor pool, so it needed to make an impression, says Mardi of the latter. ‘We loved that people would be completely surprised and possibly taken aback when entering this space.’
A blue mesh curtain and portal window to the outdoor pool add a final dose of frivolity.
Gloss House succeeds in referencing mid-century design without bordering on imitation, or lacking in unique personality. Mardi credits the result to the seamless collaboration with Enth Degree, Fort Building Solutions, and the clients.