Architect and artist Annie McIntyre first saw Hollyoake House in The Age ‘over 20 years ago’, when it won the Victorian Architecture Medal.
‘Seven years later, I moved to Hawthorn and used to walk around trying to find Hollyoake House. After I found it, one day in 2016 a sale board went up and I bought it a week later.’
Annie was immediately taken with the Hawthorn home’s modernist-inspired design, featuring a series of light-filled rooms that open onto a circular courtyard with an established tree. Its unique structure and expansive glass panels reminded her of the River House in Kew where she grew up.
‘The 1950s experimental steel cantilever River House was designed by my architect parents, Peter and Dione McIntyre,’ Annie adds. ‘Both Hollyoake and the River House are steel framed and set among trees, creating interiors filled with light, space and nature.’
54A Connell Street‘s square, open floorplan means every room looks out into the courtyard, which also provides a passive cooling system in summer when the windows are opened. Oversized doors separate the two bedrooms, study nook and bathroom from the central garden, while built-in storage helps make the most of the unique spaces.
Before moving into Hollyoake, Annie further enhanced the striking design with some careful renovations.
Eckersley Garden Architecture designed the new streetscape to feature a new eucalyptus garden with floating timber steps leading to the front door; Richmond Lighting helped with new atmospheric lighting; and Annie ‘fully restored the interior and exterior finishes’ to their original condition.
‘Living in the house feels like an urban sanctuary,’ she notes. ‘Dappled light comes into the east facing bedroom in the morning and the west facing dining room in the evening. You also see the moon tracking over the night sky.’
Her other favourite features include the home’s privacy, and its proximity to Glenferrie Road’s cafes, bookstore, cinema, and the inner-city parklands around the Yarra River.
But with her parents now in their 90s, Annie has listed the two-bedroom house for sale in order to move back to River House and spend time with family.
‘I will miss the unique architectural design. The home is restful and joyful — it’s made me realise that good architecture has a positive impact on your wellbeing.’
‘I have all the old magazines and plans of Hollyoake House ready for the new custodians to look after it in its next chapter, whatever that may be.’
54A Connell Street, Hawthorn, is listed for sale with Jellis Craig and will go to auction on 2pm Saturday October 21.