Julian Featherston grew up within the Featherston Home – the long-lasting Robin Boyd house initially designed for his mother and father, Grant and Mary Featherston – however he by no means imagined he would someday renovate and make it into his circle of relatives house.
At present, Julian lives right here with spouse Vicky Featherston and two kids, marking the fourth era (together with Grant and Mary’s mother and father who used to occupy an condominium on website) to dwell within the iconic home!
‘It was a sequence of choices that have been made by our household, together with Mary, over numerous years that led to us updating/altering the home,’ Vicky says. ‘Our objective with updating the home was to realize a stability between respecting the legacy of the home, whereas adapting it for our fashionable household and way of life.’
Boyd initially designed this house for Mary and Grant in 1968, who requested a ‘shed-like constructing’ incorporating a backyard, house, skilled office, and entertaining house in a single. Vicky aptly describes the house as being ‘as exterior as you might be, whereas being inside.’
The unique design was extremely forward of its time, and in some regards, Julian and Vicky’s latest renovations have enabled Boyd’s imaginative and prescient to lastly be correctly realised. For instance, the present translucent roofing is definitely in its third iteration – achieved with polycarbonate multicellular sheets, after know-how caught as much as Boyd’s authentic concept of a translucent roof. ‘Most individuals don’t realise that the home has repeatedly advanced with many adjustments proper from the beginning (albeit none most likely as dramatic as what we’ve achieved), nevertheless it’s all the time been a dwelling, respiratory evolving home,’ says Vicky.
Grant and Mary made a number of different alterations over time to make the home extra habitable and practical, whereas nonetheless retaining its essence. ‘As a household, we’ve all the time tried to be delicate with any adjustments, so it’s not all the time apparent what’s outdated or new,’ Vicky says.
One ongoing problem for the impossibly open-plan house has been an invisible one – temperature management! In any case, how do you management the temperature in a house with so few inside partitions? This conundrum ultimately led Julian and Vicky to design their very own customised local weather management system – HAL Programs. ‘We wished the home to work with its setting by actively responding to future climate circumstances. For instance, when it’s heat the following day, you open your home windows the evening earlier than to carry cool air in,’ Vicky explains. ‘We wished to make use of predictive software program to do this type of factor routinely and intelligently. It turned out that it didn’t exist, so we constructed it ourselves!’ The system delivers optimum consolation while minimising power use, and is at present being developed for business areas.
Different adjustments to the house have centered on making the house extra family-friendly. A ‘darkish and nooky’ house is now Elka and Otto’s playroom and bedrooms; and a storeroom has been transformed into a brand new laundry and toilet.
Play can also be vital to the household, therefore the addition of a trapeze, swings and gymnastic rings (!), in addition to a big set of modular foam blocks initially designed by Mary in 1973 that have been lately remade for the house.
Maybe probably the most vital change has been the relocation of the primary bed room to below the dwelling platform, creating an intimate and semi-subterranean house surrounded by backyard. ‘We tried, however we weren’t courageous sufficient to have our bed room on the highest platform as Grant and Mary did!’ says Vicky. ‘The brand new bed room offers a brand new perspective/angle on the home. It permits sufficient privateness, however nonetheless retains openness to the opposite areas. Individuals don’t realise it’s there till you present them, so it’s a beautiful shock!’
Vicky and Julian really feel very lucky to be the present custodians of such a famed Melbourne house, and fortunate to have the chance to sensitively replace this for their very own younger household. With three generations of Featherstons now dwelling below one roof (type of!), it’s protected to say it is a house that seamlessly interweaves previous, current and future.
What a household – what a home!