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Materiality creates harmonious connect with surrounds at Toorak Gardens House

Materiality creates harmonious connect with surrounds at Toorak Gardens House

A carefully selected materials palette as well as design choices helped the architects establish a harmonious connection between a new modern home and the surrounding historic properties.

Located on a large block in a Historic Conservation Zone, Toorak Gardens House is uncompromisingly modern. Its striking front elevation embodies refreshing modern lines, while integrating seamlessly into the historic streetscape.

Con Bastiras Architects’ well-crafted modern design delivers an elegant and functional, light-filled home that responds well to the outdoor spaces for its young family of five. This four-bedroom home plus guest room has a large downstairs living area that’s enclosed in a glazed pavilion, nestled in the heart of a leafy landscaped garden. The visual and physical connection between indoor and outdoor spaces is simply superb.

Whilst Toorak Gardens House is pragmatic and low maintenance, the architects push the design boundaries to maximum effect. The adjacent properties are single storey, so to harmonise with its surrounds, the second storey of Toorak Gardens House presents as a polite addition to the street, its pitched roof forms clad in metal to emulate its neighbours.

“The building is strongly articulated horizontally by creating contrast between the ground floor and the first floor, both by choice of materials and by the differing roof forms,” Con from Con Bastiras Architects, explains.

Indeed, this immaculate and thoughtful design creates a harmonious connection between place and building through careful material choice with its inherent hues and textures: Petersen D91 bricks, charcoal roofing and window frames, stained timber and raw concrete floors and paving make up the sophisticated, restrained palette.

The charcoal coloured standing seam metal roof sheeting exudes a handcrafted textured aesthetic, through the detail in the segmented and sculpted roof forms. The charcoal narrative continues with charcoal aluminium window frames and charcoal-stained timber panelling running seamlessly from the front door to the end of the garage door.

Petersen D91 bricks’ light grey tones are a striking contrast to the charcoal, while precast concrete blades on the front facade add a light surprise to this otherwise restrained palette. Finally, a raw concrete floor edge contains and carries the building, seemingly floating above the ground, reinforcing the horizontal lines of the home.

Petersen D91 bricks were a firm favourite of Con and his clients, having seen them used in Europe and Australia’s eastern states. Their ambient sensory delight gives the home a spacial identity that sets it apart from previous designs:

“We were drawn to their distinctive rich texture and to their warm and sublime organic qualities. Each one has its own unique character, unlike the cookie cutter look of most bricks, and their proportion and size appeals to the eye. The D91 bricks were a perfect choice for this house as they complemented the traditional bluestone used in many of the adjacent historic houses, whilst expressing an individualistic contemporary aesthetic fitting for this home. The thin and elegant proportion of the brick is reinforced by the way it has been laid with deep raked bedding joints and flush perpends,” Con says.

In fact, the owner loved the bricks so much, he insisted that any brick with the Petersen name stamped on it be used on the face side. Needless to say the family is thrilled with the result and looks forward to enjoying many years in their new, light-filled, modern home.

Project credits:

Architect: Con Bastiras Architects

Product: Petersen D91 bricks

Builder: Ikon Projects

Bricklayer: Pal Romeo

Landscaper: Ian Potts (Landscape Design by Con Bastiras)

Photography: Courtesy Con Bastiras