Robson Rak’s Stone Soul House mediates between robust materials and soft architectural forms. 

Robson Rak have made it their mission to both sensitively restore heritage homes and design considerate new builds in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. Robson Rak‘s extensive portfolio and word of mouth landed the husband and wife team Stone Soul House in Melbourne’s southeast; a multigenerational, three-level ‘Mediterranean courtyard’ home for a growing family of six.

Through a collaborative approach with dedicated artisans and creatives, Robson Rak have realised a monumental family home designed to evolve alongside its inhabitants.

The Layout

Key to the client brief was a home that could host comfortable stays, large parties and a close-knit community of children. To achieve this, Robson Rak worked hard to articulate each of the three levels and ensure a natural balance between private and shared spaces.

Upon entering the home on the ground level, a light-filled passage leads you past a series of internal courtyards into the expansive kitchen, living, and dining space. This entertaining ‘hub’ expands onto an outdoor dining terrace and the north-spanning garden, featuring a 25-m pool, spa and basketball half-court. A home office and large home library accommodate working from home and studying, tucked at the front of the home and away from the action.

Accessible via a sweeping staircase running through the core of the building, the second storey is reserved solely for the immediate family. Here, five bedrooms, each fitted with ensuites, enjoy garden views alongside a secondary open study. 

The home gym, rumpus room and guest suites are housed below ground level in the basement. The courtyard is a reoccurring motif throughout the three levels, symbolising connectedness to nature and each other throughout the grand home.

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Maringka Baker’s ‘Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa’ is the focal point of the living room, accompanied by the Moroso Rift armchairs and Gogan sofa, custom side and coffee tables by Thomas Lentini and bespoke Halcyon Lake rug.

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This Pot May Tickle Your Funny Bone‘ vessel by Danielle Thiris

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The oval louvres and sofa are a subtle nod to the home’s curved facade.

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A curved wall of joinery in the home library displays a curation of local artwork and sculptures, along with the Molteni & C Elain armchair by Vincent Van Duysen.

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The Palette

The home receives its name from the striking exterior, encased in limestone tiles and handmade, like-coloured brick. These two base materials follow throughout the ground floor with sandblasted wood drift veneer joinery, brass accents and a warm oak ceiling. Cool-grey linen sheers add a sense of softness to each opening, filtering the northern light throughout the day.

A refined palette of olive green, walnut timber, pale pink and blue-green furniture harmoniously sits within the stone shell, letting the custom-designed light fixtures and contemporary art sing. 

A Personal Touch

The client was determined to collaborate with as many local trades, suppliers and artists as possible. One of these standout pieces is the commissioned John Young Zerunge artwork in the stone-clad entry chamber – a work that took over five months to complete. Melbourne-based furniture designer Thomas Lentini custom-designed both dining tables, two sets of coffee tables and a side table, while Daniel Barbera was commissioned to create the statement entry door pull. Robson Rak also worked closely with Halcyon Lake to design three bespoke rugs.

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The stone-clad entry chamber sets the sophisticated tone for the home, with a commissioned large-scale John Young Zerunge artwork.

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