An Elegant Modern Home That Balances Indoor and Out

The title covenant over this Caulfield North block (which previously housed a 1950s single-storey dwelling) required any new construction to be done with stone masonry and a pitched tile roof. In creating a totally new residence, Travis Walton Architecture took this criteria and ran with it. Their vision was driven from there!

‘In response to the restrictions, contemporary materiality became a key concept,’ explains director, Travis Walton, of the new designs. The stonework facade ticks the masonry box, while the timber-slatted pitched roof conceals a second storey. Internally, this translates to cathedral ceilings across the upstairs sleeping quarters which provide light and volume to the space.

This continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces is demonstrated in the interplay between materials. ‘The interior design and architecture work together seamlessly to achieve a design based on the play of materials; hard and soft, tactile and smooth, inside and outside,’ says Travis. Walls of striking green granite assume centre stage indoors, while graphic marble details are offset by the central charcoal bench and white terrazzo floors. Timber joinery brings warmth to this feast of varietal stonework.

Landscaping was integral to this project. And internal courtyard provides connection to the outdoors, while the north-facing living space wraps around the courtyard and is flooded with natural light. It also plays a part in balancing the architectural materials. ‘The masonry brick on the ground floor gives the building a sense of permanency and weight, but is softened by verdant landscaping,’ Travis explains.

Despite the perfectly choreographed floorpan and meticulously balanced material palette, the house is unassumingly futuristic in its use of green technology. The double brick construction has thermally broken windows, solar power (with a Tesla battery wall to store the extra energy) and a rainwater harvesting system. With such high efficiency, the house already supplies energy back into the grid!

This holistic, highly efficient home is a perfect harmony of opposites: hard and soft, heavy and light, indoor and outdoor.

See more projects from Travis Walton Architecture here.


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