Grand Designs: 5 Architecturally Imagined Homes
Image by Tasha Tylee
This week, join us in revisiting these architecturally imagined buildings - home to families from across Australia, each with a sole purpose: to elevate everyday living. Whether built from the ground up, or as thoughtful layers to pre-existing structures, we’re sure you'll agree each one is certainly worth a second look.
Charlotte Weatherley, Brunswick East Melbourne
Interior designer and founder of Melbourne-based design studio, Studio Amble, Charlotte Weatherley was the driving force behind her family’s home design & restoration in Melbourne’s vibrant Brunswick East. With her deft touch, a heritage listed workers cottage was transformed into a bright, airy space with robust finishes to withstand life with 2 young toddlers and an Irish Terrier named Seamus.
I can say hand on heart all my projects find a special place with me. Unearthing something unique and personalised for each is a joy.
Drawing on those around her, Charlotte’s husband Jayden played an integral part in the properties green spaces through his company Greener Visions Landscapes. “This project was pretty special” says Charlotte, “but in all seriousness, I can say hand on heart all my projects find a special place with me. Unearthing something unique and personalised for each is a joy.”
Robbie Walker, Mansfield Victoria
Constructing an off-grid property is no mean feat, but Robbie Walker has done just that - now living in a hilltop haven overlooking Mt Buller with his young family. There is a raw energy about Robbie’s work, which extends to designing both the striking structure and interior of the home.
A milestone for me was realising the building worked. Being off grid I was a little worried it may feel cold with so much concrete and steel but the house has been performing really well.
Constructed with steel, concrete, glass and plywood this home is grounded in honest materials that make for an uncomplicated, yet incredibly beautiful space, one that looks perfectly at home amongst the rolling hills. Of the project, Robbie says: “A milestone for me was realising the building worked. Being off grid I was a little worried it may feel cold with so much concrete and steel but the house has been performing really well.”
Qianyi & Ross, Forest Lodge Sydney
What began as a dilapidated horse stable is now, thanks to Qianyi, co-founder of architecture practice Sibling, a completely reimagined retreat for both her young, and extended, family. Three brick walls were all that remain of the stables, yet they still manage to infinitely shape the look and feel of the house, still visible from both the interior and exterior.
The house was designed to celebrate the history of the site and the brick walls of the stables, but also to become an extension of the nearby bushland and a place to enjoy it.
Today, their home is known as ‘Stable House’ and it has seen them through Melbourne’s repeat lockdowns, the birth of their daughter Linya and visits from relatives from Malaysia. Just like their family, the space is ever-changing, and an homage to the thriving nature surrounding it. “The house was designed to celebrate the history of the site and the brick walls of the stables, but also to become an extension of the nearby bushland and a place to enjoy it.”
A dining table that has seen many of Pete's home-cooked meals is dressed in 100% Linen placemats in Navy Gingham.
Sunni & Pete, Eltham Victoria
Built in 1967 under the watchful eye of designer Alistair Knox, Sunni, Pete and their two children are the third family to take residence in this Eltham home. At the hands of craftsman Robert Marshall the raw materials are what make this space; red brick floors, mud-brick walls and a generous use of timber, all surrounded by 5 acres of land, abundant with local wildlife.
The decision [to move] was such a turning point in our lives. Being a little further out meant that we were able to put roots down and be really intentional about what we were doing.
Entrenched in nature is where Sunni and Pete really honed their respective crafts, Sunni delving deeper into the birth space, and leading Pete to open Melbourne’s Hope St Radio with Jack Shaw. A home imbued with such creative history, it makes perfect sense that living here has expanded their own creative pursuits. “The decision [to move] was such a turning point in our lives. Being a little further out meant that we were able to put roots down and be really intentional about what we were doing.”
Azzmin, Mullumbimby Northern NSW
Both Azzmin’s work as a florist and the home that she built with partner Tim, is inspired by the understated beauty of Japanese design. Working in collaboration with architect Zana Wright, whom the couple met through mutual friends, was the catalyst in bringing their vision to life - as was finding their builders, Verdecon who shared their passion for sustainable living.
I really wanted to instill a different way of living whilst raising my boys.
They share the space with Azzmin’s two sons, who also had a part to play in the design, the reason for creating an idyllic place to grow up, and to grow as a family. “I really wanted to instill a different way of living whilst raising my boys. They purposely share a room (for now) and we don't have a TV.” says Azzmin, “we made the house smaller on the block so we have some room for a veggie patch and for our garden to grow.”