A North American Influence

A young family with pre-teenage children were looking to build their dream home, for the long haul.

The result is a new two storey residence on a sloping block in leafy South Eastern Melbourne Ashburton.

The design process draws upon the past and life experiences, and together these inform the built response. Here we drew upon the many attributes of one the greats – Frank Lloyd Wright, a North American architect – and composed a design which illustrates our favourite aspects of his work while adding contemporary technologies and a modern-day layout.

The home reads as single storey when viewed from the street and mirrors the significant slope of the land through a horizontal plane to form the roofline. Disguised within these planes is the two-storey component and bulk of the house.

Stairwell and light well.

The first floor holds the sleeping zones which offer abundant north facing views. These zones are complemented with a full length and extra-wide deck that provides the option of elevated entertaining. Serving a dual purpose, the deck also provides fixed shade to the ground floor and incorporates expansive sliding glass panels, blurring the boundary between outside and in.

The materials internally and externally were chosen for their elegance, purity and longevity. Both clients and architects agreed that no MDF (medium density fibreboard) would be used; instead materials such as kiln-dried hardwood, boutique silk wallpaper and a proprietary timber-battened system feature throughout.

A dumb-waiter brings a touch of added luxury, enabling meals to be safely and quickly sent upstairs for those lazy days in bed or to make the stairs redundant when entertaining on the expansive upstairs deck.

Ashburton Exterior 5 1024x681, Michael Ellis Architects
Rear view at dusk.

A negative edge-pool is terraced into the sloping backyard, featuring sky-blue Bisazza mosaic tiles scattered with 18 carat gold highlights, and setting off a sculptured garden.

This Glen-Iris residence imbues its inhabitants with quiet luxury that fits the needs of a modern family. It does not attempt to “keep up with the Jones”, preferring to take its own path. Subtle and discrete with quality appointments, this home is one that will withstand the test of time and be appreciated by those who know and understand the detail involved in a quality design and build.