This South Yarra residence, located on Cassell Street, was designed with a personal connection to the client’s heritage. With a strong, rectilinear form, the house references an ancient Byzantine building thanks to Melbourne’s b.e architecture. The structure is made of natural stone giving it the feeling of being older than it actually is.
It sits on a corner lot so the façade needed to stand out. They used 10 different sized slabs of travertine in two different tones and laid them out horizontally to wrap the upper floor. The upper floor sits atop a recessed base that’s finished in a complementary tone.
The ground floor interior is separated into two zones – The day/summer areas face north and overlook a pool and outdoor eating space, while the night/winter areas face south and east into the more sheltered backyard.
The kitchen references the exterior with its elongated island and long bank of cabinets.
Standing in the living room, you get a sense of how long and narrow the house is.
The massive dining table is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides making you feel as if you’re dining outdoors.
The key feature in the home is the curved staircase that divides the two ground floor zones. It connects the three floors from the basement garage to the upstairs where the bedrooms are.
The curves of the staircase break from the rest of the home’s rectilinear forms.
A curved skylight fills the central part of the house with light, while keeping the stairs bright.
Photos by Peter Clarke.