Interior Award

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

This family home has been extended forward from its original site between three massive elm trees. The new spaces have been elevated as interlocking platforms set over the original floor levels to gain greater views across the city and to create a partially subterranean understorey containing garage and cellar. The arrangement of the new spaces, and the extensions to the old, have been profoundly affected by the position of each tree as the linear arrangement of the plan shifts to find a course through the spaces between. New cladding systems of Eucalyptus Obliqua and zinc sheeting suggest the rhythm of the new stud framing signifying the new wings to the north and south. All the original walls between have been rendered a neutral off-white. Substantial alterations to the landscape extend the new patterns of the house to each of the site boundaries.

The second stage alterations and additions to a small house, designed in 1951 by architect Horace Tribe, in the Melbourne suburb of Kew have made this a substantial family residence of commodious elegance, honed practicality and Melburnian style. The new interior now narrowly focuses north and south on views of large mature elms, and widely west through a three level open lens of glazing to the street and views of the inner city. The interior is a masterwork of considered function, intricate detail, crafted finish and rational stacking. Details, such as a long, shin-high, tilted polished timber display shelf against the large western window, impress through their demonstrative inventiveness. In the case of the shelf, it provides carefully measured privacy from the street, enabling the main sitting and entertainment room to be used at night without blinds or screening. The house achieves a relaxed and rational separation of zones - kitchen/dining, children’s bedrooms, children’s television and play room, music room, office, sitting room and main bedroom - with an ease that disguises the presumably difficult exercise of resolving complex spatial and service issues, issues that are made even more complex by the evolving primary forms of the house and its engineering.

Kew Residence
Project Architect, Design Architect John Wardle. Project Team Andrew Byrne, Stefan Mee, David Andrew, Beatrix Rowe, Andrea Vecciascavalli, Andrew Wong, Glen Chamberlain. Structural Consultant John Horton Engineering Group. Landscape Design John Wardle. Interior Designer Beatrix Rowe. Acoustic Consultant Watson, Moss, Growcott. Builder Building Makers. Photography Trevor Mein.



Published online: 1 Nov 2000


Architecture Australia, November 2000

More archive

See all
August issue of LAA out now August issue of LAA out now

A preview of the August 2019 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia.

Houses 124. Cover project: Garden Room House by Clare Cousins Architects. Houses 124 preview

Introduction to Houses 124.

Architecture Australia September/October 2018. AA September/October 2018 preview

Local and global recognition: An introduction to the September/October 2018 issue of Architecture Australia.

The August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia. August issue of LAA out now

A preview of the August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia.

Most read

Latest on site