Designed for a busy and active family of six, this project by Inform is an exercise in simplicity and compositional rigor, with a nod to mid-century modernism. Located in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton East, the large five-bedroom house features a variety of spaces, providing each member of the family with a place to retreat to, whilst maintaining connection. Embodying lightness and minimalism, the design also engages with the landscape, utilising a natural palette that showcases beautifully executed detailing throughout.
Significant design elements include timber battens and hit and miss brickwork. These animate an otherwise solid, protective façade, which is softened by the material texture of painted reclaimed bricks and oiled timber. At nightime the house comes to life through varied illumination techniques – light penetrating through spaces in the brickwork, the internal fireplaces, the garden, pond and the pool with featured lighting.
The double-storey monolithic masonry form contains the bedrooms, study and family den, and is juxtaposed by a lightweight single storey structure of timber and glass incorporating the kitchen, meals, living area and garage. The white walls of the interior and exterior provide a clean backdrop for what will become a lush and vibrant garden. The clients eclectic and vibrant artwork and collection of beautifully designed objects become a strong feature.
The light filled pavilion to the backyard creates a sense of openness though large expanse of glazing opening out into the gardens. In contrast, the double-storey brick form, provides a change in mood and atmosphere, a place for seclusion and intimacy.
North facing, the inviting resort style garden includes a lawn, fireplace, pool and pool pavilion. The landscape features varying sized pools of water, carefully interlinked to cascade from one pond to the other whilst it moves through the garden. Floating stepped pavers are elevated above the ground cover to assist passage through this little oasis and reflects dappled light onto the walls, whilst the tranquil sound of running water animates the spaces within. This space is also now home to the family’s pet turtle.
With Brighton East, Inform have created a place to retreat that evokes a sense of calmness and serenity though the engagement of the house with its natural setting. The architecture examines light and space though ideas of openness and enclosure, which is choreographed through the plan and brought to life through the built form, natural materials and the garden, creating a series of dynamic spaces to enjoy family life.