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The private club for owners of Vintec and Transtherm cellars – dedicated to the love of wine. et er you ave owned your intec or over a decade or ust ac uired yours you re entitled to become a member and access exclusive and complimentary wine-industry benefits and services. Find out more on Follow us on

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contents 80 10


96 Cover

This glass-walled house appears to emerge directly from the rock face on a mountain high above Queenstown, New Zealand. To read more, turn to pages 10-21. Photography by Jamie Cobel.


GRAND DESIGNS Off the edge With its soaring roofline, immense glass walls and pyramid form, this new house takes its cue from the fractured peaks beyond


Every picture tells a story All the charm and glamour of an earlier period is captured in this house, but it also presents a contemporary twist


APARTMENTS A space to call one’s own An empty void becomes a multilayered home suffused with meaning


Well rounded Completing a modern seaside block, this penthouse is designed to respond to the views, the site and properties nearby


Artistic muse This classic-meets-modern interior was inspired by the ambience of luxury hotels and a famous painting


Touch of splendour A subtle colour palette is brought to life with highlights of gold on black and clusters of detailed pattern – the outcome is luxurious and inviting


THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN DREAM Our country boasts some of the best residential architecture on the planet. This section highlights the companies that design and build these remarkable homes



HOMES is the official media partner of:


BY THE WATER Suited to the scenery Nestled into the hillside, this wood and stone house was designed to respond to the terrain and its breathtaking panoramic views, while being respectful of the landscape


All for the outlook Situated on a small, steep block of land overlooking the city, this four-level home was designed to take advantage of its topography and expansive views


Heightened colours This contemporary design maximises outdoor living space and sets up several vibrant tonal connections


Coastal connections Offering a contemporary take on local seaside architecture, this house opens up to the views while maintaining a private street aspect



Managing Editor John Williams – Managing Director Australia Glenn Hyland –

FROM THE PUBLISHER One of the world’s most iconic Modernist residences is the Glass House by Philip Johnson. A single volume, surrounded by woodland, it is an essay in minimalism, and the effects of transparency and reflection. @DavidJideas

Close to the spirit of Johnson’s creation is the subject of the cover story of this issue of New Home & Apartment Trends – a jewel of architectural engineering that clings precariously to the side of a cliff overlooking Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of New Zealand. This gravity-defying home is as dramatic as the scenery it surveys. Back home, we take a peek down one of Melbourne’s most prestigious streets at an equally impressive home that sits at the other end of the architectural spectrum – a grand residence built in the style of a French chateau. Interestingly, this project languished for years, incomplete, before the present owners took over the reins and put in the time and resources befitting its status. Our Trends publications are also available as eBooks. This exponentially increases the potential audience for our featured designers and advertisers. Our readers benefit from the enhanced multimedia experience that eBooks provide, and of course, the environmental footprint of our publications is minimised. Visit our website, Happy reading

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Taking on an unfinished project is not for the fainthearted. But the new owners of this house could see there was plenty of potential to make it worthwhile.

A light, simple colour palette complemented by natural timber and stone ensures this customised new home nestles snugly into its site.

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This clean-lined house is elevated over the property, thus freeing up the ground level, creating an outdoor area complete with its own kitchen.

All rights reserved. Trends is subject to copyright in its entirety. The contents may not be reproduced in any form, either in whole or in part, without written permission of the Publisher. No responsibility is accepted for unsolicited material, including transparencies. Trends also accepts no responsibility for loss of submitted manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Opinions expressed in Trends are those of the contributors, not necessarily those of Trends Publishing International Ltd. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences of reliance on this publication.

Beautiful homes deserve a seamless technology solution

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Commanding perspective Designing a house to fit in with a dramatic landscape is all about the big picture – architecture that does not compromise the setting and vice versa

grand designs

Off the edge With its soaring roofline, immense glass walls and pyramid form, this new house takes its cue from the fractured peaks beyond Preceding pages and right: This glass-walled house appears to emerge directly from the rock face on a mountain high above Lake Wakatipu. Jagged Edge takes the form of a large glass pavilion, supported from above by steel bars. A steel portal leads out to a cantilevered terrace and an elevated heated pool. When the pool is not in use, the water level is automatically lowered by 170mm to allow a pool cover to slide across.


There can be no competition when it comes to the sheer grandeur of the Remarkables, the awe-inspiring mountain range set against the sparkling blue waters of Lake Wakatipu. But a new house in Queenstown challenges every preconceived notion of alpine architecture. Jagged Edge defies convention – there are no gabled rooflines, and there is no framing of the view from a house nestled back into the hillside. Rather, the house steps forward to become an intrinsic part of the view. With fully glazed walls soaring to a height of 9.2m at the sharp end, it is possible to see straight through the

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Above: Reaching for the sky – the glass walls of the pavilion soar to a 9.2m-high peak at the front. Above right and facing page: The perceived lightness of the walls belies the engineering behind the scenes. The steel bar supports are secured by 20m-long rock anchors. Following pages: Steel cables help to provide structural support for the windows, which are subject to a particularly high wind loading.


house, which at times makes it near invisible, says owner-developer Julian McPike. “It is difficult to see the house from the other side of the lake,” he says. “The glass blends in with the trees and the mountains and the building simply vanishes from sight.” The pyramid form of the glass pavilion echoes the fractured nature of the mountain peaks – a feat only made possible by the tension structure. Ten steel roof bars that resemble cables connect to six 20m-long rock anchors to support the building, which is exposed and consequently subject to a high wind loading.

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A steel portal at the front of the pavilion is also instrumental in carrying the load of the facade. The portal frames an opening out to a cantilevered terrace and an elevated infinity pool lined with stainless steel. But it is the height of the glazing, and the angled prow of the building that creates the real drama on the inside. “The glass walls rise so high that they dwarf everyone inside,” says McPike. “Standing beneath the soaring ceiling is a little like being dwarfed by the enormity of the mountains themselves.“

Above: To maximise the view, the entire house is open plan – even the suspended mezzanine bedrooms are open to the floor below. Customdesigned pendant lights fill the void without providing a distraction. Right: Tunnelled into the rock face, the wine cellar is a cave with a polished concrete floor. The excavation exposed seams of quartz within the schist.


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“Because the ceiling rises to such a height, there is an uninterrupted view of the tops of the peaks, even from the back of the living area.” To ensure all rooms maximise the view, the house is almost entirely open plan. Living areas are on the ground floor and bedrooms are on a mezzanine suspended within the pavilion – this entire floor is supported by the roof and a central double-column structure. “The living area is also essentially a timber platform floating between the glass walls,” says McPike. “The effect is amplified at night by lights on the floor around the perimeter of

the space. Premium hardwood in a light shade without any knots was chosen to enhance the pale, clean-lined look.” McPike also chose to let the view speak for itself – there are no artworks to detract from the outlook, apart from a large, illuminated glass sculpture beside the stairwell. To reinforce the pared-back architecture, an island bar unit is raised from beneath the floor when required. A white-lacquered kitchen, with tall black cabinets either side, is positioned at the rear of the living space. With a large island and bar stools, it is designed for easy entertaining. The

house also has a subterranean wine cellar carved out of the rock – a natural, textural antithesis of the sleek glass and steel. Mezzanine bedrooms are symmetrically positioned either side of the central axis, and all have views. A small reading room between the master suite and second bedroom affords a view right through the two structural columns in the centre of the house. Even in the minimalist bathrooms the emphasis is on the outlook – the tub in the master suite is aligned with the view. Comfort is also assured, along with energy savings, despite the massive mount of glazing.

Top and above: An island bar is hidden beneath the floor when not in use, but can be raised as required. The large plasma television sits within a recess so it appears flush with the wall. A custom-designed cooling system prevents the television from overheating. The red display cabinets within the white structural columns provide one of only a few colour accents in the house.

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Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

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Top and above: Bedrooms are also floating platforms within the glass pavilion. The master suite has views in two directions. The freestanding tub in the master suite is positioned so the owners can enjoy a slice of the view. Facing page: A large illuminated sculpture by Peter Stoneham of Virtualight defines the stairwell.


McPike says temperature changes are scarcely noticeable inside, as the walls feature 22mm-thick structural glass, comprised of a laminate sandwiched between two 10mm panes. The insulation is greater than a standard residential system, and there is also a low-e coating on the glass that increases the r value. “Sunshades are provided at the rear of the house only, but because the house faces south, the direct sunlight does not pose too much of a problem. And the air conditioning is seldom used in summer, with passive cooling provided by cross ventilation.”

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To save even more energy, the house is fully wired as a smart home, with an occupied and unoccupied mode. With the latter, the water heating is shut off and the house goes into stand-by mode, says McPike. “The house monitors itself, ensuring the temperature inside remains between 10°C and 30°C. This safeguards materials and furnishings from the temperature extremes of the climate.” The landscaping was also designed with the environment in mind. Schist walls and native plants help to ensure that the house, although distinctive, blends with the natural landscape.

Every picture tells a story All the charm and glamour of an earlier period is captured in this house, but it also presents a contemporary twist

Taking over an incomplete project that has been languishing for several years is not the easiest way to plan for a new home. But for the new owners of this house, the French Chateaustyle architecture appealed and they could see there was plenty of potential to make the project worthwhile. Designer Royston Wilson was subsequently commissioned to take charge of the redesign and finishing of the house and interior. “We embellished the exterior a little, so it would be more in keeping with the style,” Wilson says. “For example, we added custom wrought

iron balustrading and introduced new wooden doors and windows to the entry. The original plan had specified PVC doors and window frames throughout the house, but this was the only area where they hadn’t yet been installed. The custom timber doors visually soften the entry and make it more inviting. We also narrowed the entry to enhance the sense of arrival – on the inside it opens right up.” Grandeur is created by the large, split-level entry hall, which features a dramatic spiral staircase. The owners’ contemporary sculpture collection reinforces the gallery-like feel.

Preceding pages and facing page: With its sandstone exterior, this European-inspired house radiates visual warmth. To ensure the stone would not be too overpowering, designer Royston Wilson introduced rendered panels to the wall fronting the street. Above: Contemporary sculpture, artworks and a stone floor reinforce the gallery-like feel of the entry. The spiral staircase was opened up to create a distinctive feature.

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Top: Solid wood furniture and studded leather chairs bring a traditional formality to the dining room. Wood also features in the bar at one end of the room, which conceals a structural column. Above: Designed as a masculine space, the gentleman’s study has traditional wood panelling, which is teamed with contemporary leather furniture.


“The owner said right from the start that every time he entered a space he wanted to feel as if he had been transported to a whole new place,” says Wilson. “Every room needed to be different, yet visually connected. “Originally, the staircase in the entry was to be enclosed, but opening it up meant we could make a sweeping, architectural statement. Another way we achieved this was by mixing the treads, using both timber and stone.” The formal lounge also has a gallery look. The designer likens it to a grand ballroom, complete with parquet flooring, grand piano

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and sculptural red velvet chaise. Classically inspired paintings and an oversized mirror reinforce the visual drama. “The pattern of the American oak parquet flooring is similar to the French parquet floors at Versailles,” says Wilson. “Here, it was treated to give it a well-worn, textural look.” French doors were originally positioned on the outside wall of this room, but were replaced with shuttered windows. “The doors opened to a small laneway with no view, so we felt it was better not to play up this aspect,” the designer says.

In keeping with the imposing interior, the house has a large formal dining room, with a custom-built bar area. Wilson says this cabinetry helps to disguise a structural column that was exposed when a wall was removed to make the room larger. Furnishings in this room were chosen to complement the European ambience. A gentleman’s study also features wood cabinetry – and the same parquet flooring as the formal lounge. Timber panelling on the walls keeps the look masculine. Similarly, in the wine cellar off the garage on the lower level, timber features prominently.

Above: The formal living room is reminiscent of a grand ballroom, complete with American oak parquet flooring in a French pattern inspired by the flooring at Versailles. Sculptural furniture items and large artworks enhance the dramatic impact of the space. Left: To provide a visual link with the rest of the house, the wine cellar beside the garage has wood panelling. Wine bottles are displayed in a variety of ways to add interest.

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Above: A large modular sofa commands attention in the family living area, which opens out to an expansive terrace. The Mondrianstyle shelving unit designed by Wilson features wood doors stained in different colours and alternated with lacquered niches in Japan black. Right: Many of the materials were chosen for the way they play with the concept of light. For example, the top of the dining table in the family area has a colourful glass overlay.


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Here, wine is displayed in a variety of ways, just as it is in traditional cellars and wine stores. Much of the living and entertaining takes place in the large, open-plan family living area, which comprises the kitchen, an informal dining space and an extra-large media room. Wilson says the owners like to entertain, and the kitchen needed to be suitable for caterers. It was also essential to provide numerous cooking appliances and several high-end refrigerators and freezers. In addition, the design needed to accommodate a large structural column. The designer introduced a honey onyx bar,

which is anchored to the column. The onyx is lit from within, creating a warm golden glow. “The bar creates a buffer zone between guests and the working area of the kitchen,” says Wilson. Further differentiation is provided by the more robust form of the large island, which incorporates a Victorian ash upstand that is curved on the inside edge. The timber was sandblasted to highlight the grain. An oblique angle at one end of the island also provides visual drama and reduces the apparent mass of the island. Cabinetry on the rear wall has a random

pattern routed into the MDF for added interest. The other key feature of the family living area is the custom shelving. Colourful stained wood panels interspersed with Japan black create eye-catching, symmetrical Mondrianstyle display and storage cabinets. The entertainment zone spills outdoors to a large terrace and pool, complete with outdoor kitchen. The pièce de résistance of this area is a large mosaic-tiled mural that runs alongside a lap pool. The mural captures the owners’ racehorses against a dramatic beach backdrop, providing yet another talking point.

Top: Symmetry also defines the custom shelving unit that flanks the television in the family living area. Much of the hifi equipment is stored within these units. Above: A backlit honey onyx island bar with a waterfall side creates a dramatic centrepiece. Anchored on one side by a large structural column, the bar forms a buffer zone between guests and the working area of the kitchen.

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Architect: West Valentine (Melbourne) Interior and kitchen designer: Royston Wilson, Royston Wilson Design (Armadale, Vic) Builder: Hocking Build & Construct Pool: Geoff Burke Pools & Landscaping Cladding: Bruhn Limestone Roofing: Slate by Roof Service Doors and windows: PD Joinery Door and window hardware: Pittella Stairs: Slattery & Acquroff Flooring: Parquetry by Le Parqueteur Air conditioning: Griepink & Ward Fireplaces: Real Flame; Jetmaster Wrought iron: Anvil Workshop Home automation: Chatfield Audio Visual Kitchen cabinets: American oak veneer; two-pak Dulux Ecru by Interstyle Kitchens Benchtops: Capolavoro granite and honey onyx from WK Marble & Granite Appliances: Miele

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Additional bathroom story at

Above: A custom mosaic tiled mural beside the internal lap pool features images of the owners’ racehorses set against a beach backdrop. Right: At the rear, the house has a more Italianate look. The terrace incorporates an outdoor kitchen, table and lounging chairs. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Andrew Ashton


Walk this way Now you can have the look of timber floors without the maintenance. ColorTile porcelain tiles also provide many additional benefits


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Low maintenance is everything when it comes to choosing flooring for your new home – you want to be sure the surface you choose will keep its good looks for years to come. ColorTile, one of Australia’s leading tile retailers, is now importing Italian tiles that offer something a little different. Two of the ranges in the new collection, Legno and Jungle, are designed to provide a timber-look floor that is indistinguishable from the natural product. Brooke Stuart, ColorTile managing director, says the tiles can be arranged just like timber floors to give an identical appearance.

“But it’s not just the aesthetics that appeal. The new tile technology has many other benefits. Because these are porcelain tiles, there is no delamination. The tiles also require no sealing and are easy to clean.” Stuart says the tiles are well suited to family living. They cannot be marked by high-heeled shoes, dogs or children. “They do not discolour, fade, buckle or creak, and there is no need for special maintenance, cleaning, sanding or resealing. We like to think of the tiles as an easy-living alternative.” Stuart says ColorTile has had an influx of

customers living in fire-prone bush areas who have bought the Legno range for decks. These tiles have survived temperatures of 1100°C. “The tiles can be used to create continuous flooring, from living areas to kitchens and bathrooms. They are also suitable for underfloor heating and come with a 10-year guarantee.” For details of your nearest showroom, contact ColorTile, phone 1300 673 218. Website: View, save or share this story online at

Facing page: This new home features continuous timber-look porcelain flooring from ColorTile. The company now imports two ranges of Italian tiles that replicate the look of timber – the Legno and Jungle. Above: Advantages of the new porcelain tile flooring include durability. The tiles are not affected by high-heeled shoes. They are also easy to clean. Both ranges come in a variety of colourways.

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Voices from the past Brand new or redeveloped, these apartments resonate with the timbre of previous lives – their own, or those of the objects within them

A space to call one’s own An empty void becomes a multilayered home suffused with meaning One of the challenges of adapting a loft space for residential use lies in injecting a human scale into what is an industrial or commercial footprint. That challenge is somewhat mitigated when the building is purpose designed as a live-work environment, and when the space in question is the architect’s own. This building was designed to provide studio spaces for resident artists, as well as dedicated apartments – the money from the sale of which helps fund the studios, says architect David Hacin.

Preceding pages and left: Architect David Hacin FAIA was immediately taken by the scale of this loft apartment. To preserve the grandeur of the full-height windows yet create an intimate home, Hacin devised a self-contained volume to sit within the apartment space that would house the bedrooms and more private areas. Above: The entry sits beneath the second level of the self-contained volume. The darker palette and lower ceiling height create a welcoming feel before the revelation of the full-height living area.

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Above: Furnishings were kept low-profile. Floor lamps were used rather than pendant lighting to place emphasis on the furniture groupings rather than trying to light the whole space. At night this transforms the space into an oasis amidst the cityscape. Right: Hacin teamed wood with metal and a painted finish to create a simple and understated palette. The classic treatment softens the loft aesthetic and gives the overall effect of being a part of a more intimate setting. The map shows New York City in the 1960s.


A local in the neighbourhood already, Hacin decided to buy an apartment in the building for himself. “I purchased the apartment in its raw state, which even then was impressive. I was very aware of the power of the fullheight windows and was determined to create something that revelled in that. “The interior became a volume within a volume, with the bedrooms housed within a box structure that can be completely enclosed and which allows for the windows around the entire perimeter.�

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Architect and interior designer: David Hacin FAIA, Hacin + Associates (Boston, MA) Kitchen manufacturer: SieMatic Builder: David Bardes, D H Bardes Structural engineer: Hawksworth Bibb Doors and windows: Custom pivot panel door Hardware: The Brass Center; Baldwin Flooring: Winchester Black slate from Vermont Structural Slate; Cordes in Spice and Suede by Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring; Clear finish maple Paints and varnishes: Benjamin Moore Super White and custom mix taupe and gray in various shades Lighting: Prescolite recessed fixtures; Bega step lights; Bruck track lighting; Lutron controllers from Lightolier Fans: Eclipse Series by The Modern Fan Company Home audio: Greg Mesmer, Audio Video Consulting Furniture: Knoll desk and chairs in media room; Crate & Barrel sofa; Ligne Roset beds; Minotti ottomans; Capellini dining room table and chairs; Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams living room side tables; George Nelson table under stairs Drapes: Synthetic linen Kitchen cabinetry: SieMatic in clear maple Story by Justin Foote Photography by Michael Stavaridis

The architect then turned his focus to creating a home. “I am against interiors that are divorced from experience. All the pieces in the apartment hold a personal significance – they are inherited or are part of a collection. Their inclusion has allowed us to create a home that is very meaningful. “So often, when confronted by a living area as voluminous as this, the response is to scale everything up. Instead, I created a seating grouping that would exist in a more traditional space.”

Additionally, lighting elements are at floor level, emphasising the furniture rather than the room and augmenting the intimate feel Hacin was striving for. “The treatment of natural light too, was paramount. At first I resisted the idea of drapes, but we settled on a linen fabric that gives the light an ethereal quality, and almost immediately it changed the whole feel of the space.” See an image gallery and a video online at

Facing page: The metal balustrade retains the loft aesthetic while also maintaining open sightlines along the view corridors. This page: Swivelling panels allow natural light from the full-height windows to penetrate into the bedroom, which is in a separate volume contained within the apartment space. The transition of flooring materials from one to the other is a visual cue to the inner volume’s boundary. The photograph hanging in the gallery space is of the Prudential Tower and was taken by the architect. The vintage artist’s easel is by Grumbacher.

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Well rounded Completing a modern seaside block, this penthouse is designed to respond to the views, the site and properties nearby Sometimes it is the simplest concept that results in the most attractive outcome. Imagine a building design led by a curved, corner site – then add a modern, high-end penthouse as a graceful echo of that form. This contemporary penthouse crowns a mixed-use apartment and retail block by architect Nicholas Solomon. The shape of the building, and in turn the penthouse, was dictated by several key factors – the rounded street corner, a need to maximise water views to all five apartments along one side of the building, and the council

requirement to include a view corridor across the upper levels to retain sea views for the neighbours behind, says Solomon. “Seen from above, the resulting shape of the building is much like a soft triangle, and the exposed top floor of this two-level penthouse echoes that geometric form.” With the beach views to the southwest and a run of windows to all apartments These pages: Rounded corners on this two-level apartment reference the street corner below and also call to mind the sweep of the nearby beach.

along the west side of the building, the design had to mitigate the heat of the sun, at its most powerful from this direction. “This was handled in three ways,” says Solomon. “Aluminium blinds and interior curtains provide precise control over solar penetration, while the set-back individual balconies offer further protection.” This penthouse – one of two in the apartment building – has three bedrooms, a laundry and entry on the lower floor, with the open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas on the floor above.

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“We also took our design cues for the interior from the building’s triangular form,” says Solomon. “All the units combine soft curves, reflecting the site and the curve of the beachfront, with more rectilinear forms, required to optimise sightlines to the sea from all apartments.” The interiors on the upper level are open plan to ensure beach views are seen throughout. There are only two freestanding walls, both set towards the perimeter to optimise the clean, open aesthetic – and, of course, the views.


“An eye-catching cutout in the blade wall that shelters the stairwell is another loose interpretation of the building’s form, but it also references the curvaceous kitchen and the Noguchi coffee table.” In addition, the aperture provides a visual connection to the stair and affords views across the stairwell and out a window on the other side. The coffee table and Barcelona chairs were both selected by Solomon, as was most furniture in the penthouse. Solomon worked with a relatively

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narrow material palette, again to let the beach outlooks take centre stage. “The leading materials are American white oak, for the floors, set against the white walls, ceiling and kitchen cabinetry. Then there are the white Corian benchtops in the kitchen. Our intention was to create a bleached blond colourway, reminiscent of the beachfront itself.” With windows on all sides at this level, the penthouse is light filled and serene. While all areas enjoy the outlooks, it is the dining space, pushed out into the nose of

Facing page top, above, and left: Open-plan living spaces ensure views are enjoyed from everywhere on the upper level of the penthouse. The distinctive shape of the cutout in the perimeter stairway wall echoes that of the Noguchi coffee table and the footprint of the penthouse. Furniture was chosen by the architect – other pieces in this area include Barcelona chairs by Mies van der Rohe and a Charles Eames club chair in cowhide. Facing page lower: The curves of the island also reflect the shape of the cutout. White cabinetry and benchtops help the work space meld into the wider aesthetic, making the space seem larger.

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Above: In keeping with the simple material palette, the master bathroom features a marble with prominent striations. The bathtub’s sculptural presence is heightened by the pared-back surroundings. Above right: The master bedroom features a headboard that incorporates a bookcase on one side and additional storage at the rear. The side cabinet includes a retractable counter. Right: A convenient study nook is incorporated into the master bedroom, which together with other bedrooms, is set on the lower level.


the floorplan, that has the optimum view. Downstairs, the master bedroom faces the same long run of windows and enjoys the same material palette. A wall of floorto-ceiling cupboards provides ample storage on the other side of the passage that runs behind the headboard. The master bathroom is a departure, with striated marble walls and floors, and a freestanding tub that floats like an island. See a video and further images online at

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Architect, interior designer, kitchen designer: Nicholas Solomon, MPR Design Group (Sydney) Builders: Parallel Constructions Landscape designer: Peter Glass & Associates Cladding: Rendered brickwork, paint finish Roofing: Concrete; Lysaght Klip-lok Colorbond finish for awning roof Flooring: Public areas, limestone tiles from STS Stone; penthouse, American white oak wide timber floorboards from Havwoods Wallcoverings: Dulux Skylights: Skydome Heating system: Reverse cycle air conditioning Lighting: Low-energy LEDs from JSB Lighting

Security/home automation: Urmet audio-video intercom system Doors and windows: Alspec; Proline aluminium Window and door hardware: Madinoz Penthouse louvres: Nysan Horiso aluminium blinds and louvres from Turner Brothers Furniture: Aero Saarinen Tulip dining table; Arne Jacobsen Series 7 dining chairs; Barcelona lounge chairs by Mies van der Rohe; Charles Eames club chair in cowhide Kitchen manufacturer: Debrich Custom Joinery Kitchen cabinets: Gloss polyurethane in Natural White Benchtops and splashback: Corian Kitchen sink: Franke

Taps: Vola Oven, cooktop and microwave: Gaggenau Ventilation: AEG Refrigeration: Liebherr Dishwasher: Miele Bathtub: Agape Spoon Bathroom wall and floor coverings: Marble Award: Waverley Design Award 2013 Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Karl Beath

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Artistic muse This classic-meets-modern interior was inspired by the ambience of luxury hotels and a famous painting No matter how complex an interior design project, there is sometimes just one dramatic idea at its heart. This house, one of two on a subdivided corner block, was already under construction when interior designer Massimo Speroni stepped in. However, he was in time to work with the owner to make some minor structural tweaks to maximise floor space and improve flow. To this end, walls were repositioned in the dining area and a dividing wall was erected between the kitchen and living areas to give more bench and storage space. In addition, two small windows were removed from the living area to provide sufficient unbroken space for an all-important feature wall. In terms of interior decor, the client wanted a home with personality and a wow factor. It also had to reflect the level of luxury you might expect in a five-star hotel, says Speroni. “My main inspiration was the 19th-century painting Romans of the Decadence, which the owners had seen in Paris. I had this reproduced as a washable vinyl wallpaper mural and hung on the living room wall.” Rich finishes and furnishings are all inspired by the mural, with elements such as goldpainted corbels, dado rails, ornate frames and heavy drapes contributing to the atmosphere. Modern Italian furniture adds playful contrasts. “Pasha armchairs from Pedrali are the shape of classical wing chairs, but being transparent, they are almost invisible within the design,” says Speroni. “High-gloss ceramic tiles bring uniformity and together with the mirrors, help reflect light through the spaces. “The sense of lightness is continued in the kitchen with Louis Ghost chairs, also in clear polycarbonate, and a sparkling chandelier.” In the master bedroom, a bespoke king-size headboard in white velvet, Mystere Snow from Warwick, furthers the plush aesthetic.

Left: Designer Massimo Speroni created a textured wallpaper print of a Renaissance-style painting to lead the aesthetic of this interior design. Top: The television has a screen saver which displays a section of the painting, so the appliance can hide in plain sight – as do the clear Pasha Italian wing chairs. Above: A zebra-pattern rug adds to the eclectic nature of Speroni’s lavish interior scheme.

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These pages: Light is everywhere. A glass-topped table, Louis Ghost polycarbonate chairs from Kartel, and polished tile floors, along with a mirror-fronted island and a large chandelier, all contribute to the airy, sparkling ambience in the kitchen and dining area. The low wall between the two spaces allows diners to view the mural while seated at the table.


Interior, kitchen and landscape designer: Massimo Speroni, Massimo Interiors (Prahran, Vic) Builder: Jeff Sarkis, Zealous Group Roofing: CSR Monier tiles in Charcoal Tiling: Lumina Bianco ceramic tiles; Elite Grey Polish ceramic tiles Flooring: Elite Grey Polish ceramic tiles; Braewood carpet in Grey Haze Wallcoverings: Dulux Lexicon Quarter Security/home automation: Hills Voicenav by DAS Heating sustem: MXZ series, Split System by Mitsubishi Electric Windows: Aluminium powdercoated in Woodland Grey Skylights: Massimo Interiors Blinds and curtains: Mystere Snow from Warwick; Dreston Ivory from Charterhouse Lighting: Living room, Iconic Arco floor lamp; dining room, antique clear Krystal Chandelier from Meizai Furniture: Living room, Pasha armchairs by Pedrali, Stone Stools by Kartell, Saarinen Tulip side table; dining area, Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs; Saarinen Tulip table Kitchen cabinetry: Upper cabinets, laminate in Arctic White with lustre finish; under-counter cabinets, laminate in Asian Night with matt finish Benchtops: Quantum Quartz, in Luna White Tap: Hey Joe sink mixer by IB Rubinetterie; Zip Hydrotap Sink: Franke Oven: Bellissimo by Technika Cooktop: Ilve, gas Ventilation: Telescopic hood by Technika Refrigeration: Westinghouse Virtuoso Dishwasher: Asko, integrated Bathroom vanity: Quantum Quartz in Luna White Basin: Imperial Ware Wesley Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Stu Morley

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Top right: The landing on the upper level also features mirrors to bounce light and increase the feeling of spaciousness. Centre right and far right: Themes of transparency and reflection continue in the master bedroom. An embossed silver wallpaper wraps around three walls in the room. Right: A cantilevered vanity, large mirror and glass shower walls add visual space in the ensuite bathroom.


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Touch of splendour A subtle colour palette is brought to life with highlights of gold on black and clusters of detailed pattern – the outcome is luxurious and inviting


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An exotic, night-time interior design requires a balancing act – setting the scene with simple, large pieces and then creating colour high points, clusters of fine detail and textured sheens to bring the composition to life. This was the second apartment that designer and antiques dealer Roy Williams has created for the owners of the two-level residence. For this project, the instructions from the trusting owners were to make it gorgeous, says Williams. “The existing decor had a tired, suburban feel but the apartment had good bones. We did make some changes to the structure, completely

reinventing the staircase with a new wooden bannister. We also removed two pillars from the living room – they cramped the entry and were underwhelming visually. “I was mindful that the apartment would be enjoyed mainly during the evening hours and chose the colour palette accordingly. Some hues are more affected by light changes than others; for example, yellows change dramatically from day to night, while blues and greys tend to hold their colour. For this reasons, beiges and browns cover most of the living areas, particularly on the expansive sofas that help ground the space.

Above left: This apartment has been transformed into a refined space for relaxing and entertaining, especially after dark. Furniture includes a black and gold French Napoleon III table, a vintage French commode and Louis XV-style lounge suites with embroidered silk cushions. Top and above: The stair hall is home to an 1860s Napoleon III table, lacquered with an ivory inlay. The powder room features textured wallpaper and two dragon carvings.

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Left: Heirloom rugs demarcate areas of use and soften the acoustics of the parquet wood floors. A motorised television rises up behind the lacquered end console on cue. Top: The original stairway was reworked and sightlines accentuated to culminate in significant artworks. Above: A French commode provides an ornate occasional table at the end of the open-plan space.


Interior designer, antique dealer: Roy Williams AAADA, CINOA, Roy’s Antiques (Clifton Hill, Vic) Living room furniture, upholstery: Roy’s Antiques Lighting: Lucia Lighting Bed linen: Linen House Wallcoverings: Porters Paints Cushions and throws: Bed, Bath and Table Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Andrew Ashton

Above: The master bathroom is a modern departure from the rest of the interior. Walls and floors are in marble, while the vanity is cantilevered and underlit to maximise the sense of space. Right: Three lacquered and gilded, deeply carved wood Chinese dragon panels bring touches of gold into the master bedroom. The new stairway can be seen to the rear, with the master bathroom to the left of that, separated by glass doors.


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To complement this warm, neutral backdrop Williams chose a textured pearlescent wall paint that retains the brush strokes and results in an eye-catching, iridescent surface. Parquet floors were laid throughout the lower-level public spaces; the dark tones helping to ground the rooms but also adding detail. Area rugs demarcate areas of use, with one centred in the living space and another in the adjacent dining area. The furniture is an eclectic mix of classic antiques, new pieces made in traditional styles and several large Chinese furniture items, with

characteristic deep black wood adorned with gold patterning. “The gold leaf, like the silk embroidery on the throw cushions, catches the eye and helps give the spaces the twinkling evening allure that sets off the apartment,” says Williams. While the decor is traditional in feel, it does include some rather contemporary accents. The transparent polycarbonate dining chairs have a classic form, albeit in a thoroughly modern material composition. Much of the colour and dazzle comes from the ornate Chinese wall screens and artworks,

such as the oriental brocade jacket on the wall behind the dining table. “The traditional aesthetic helps conceal up-to-the-minute functionality as well,” says Williams. “For example, at the push of a button the television rises up from behind a japanned cabinet at one end of the living room. “This design is also about easy functionality. There are many places to sit and enjoy a book, with task lighting right at hand.”

Above: A thick fur on the armchair, oversized cushions featuring exotic, Jacquard-weave Redelman & Son fabrics on the bed and a headboard formed from an oriental screen all add softness, texture and visual interest to the master bedroom. As in the living areas, Williams chose substantial pieces, such as the armchair and Chinese table under the window, to anchor the design.

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Hidden benefits Maximising space in an apartment kitchen is vital. Apartments in the Tiara development feature high-end Häfele Clever Storage Solutions


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Innovative storage solutions are par for the course in an upmarket apartment development where space is invariably at a premium. For apartments in the Tiara high-rise in Southbank, Melbourne, Häfele storage systems were specified – kitchens feature Clever Storage Solutions by Kesseböhmer. This collection of storage systems offers a vast range of alternatives to ensure space is maximised so kitchens can remain uncluttered and streamlined – the interior design aesthetics are never compromised. Häfele says Kesseböhmer storage systems

are engineered for the modern kitchen and are simple, design-oriented and effective. Products include lift-up systems and pull-out shelving for base cabinets that provides easy access, even to items stored at the rear of the unit. Corner cabinets can be fitted with swing systems, ranging from a simple carousel to more complex storage units, such as the LeMans II, which is ideal for mixers, pots and pans. Most kitchens also require storage systems for tall cabinets. Kesseböhmer offers the flexible Convoy system for fresh food storage, which can be customised. Transparent sides to the

trays in this vertical pantry allow a clear view of the contents – you can see best-by dates at a glance. All systems also come with non-slip surfaces and an ultra-smooth action that responds to the lightest touch. Clever Storage Solutions are the result of more than 50 years of constant innovation. For more information, contact Häfele, phone 1300 659 728. Email: Or visit the website: View, save or share this story online at

Facing page: The Tiara residential tower is a distinctive landmark in Southbank, Melbourne. In keeping with the prestigious nature of the development, apartment kitchens are equipped with a variety of Häfele storage systems. Above: It’s what you don’t see that makes all the difference to this apartment kitchen. Drawers and doors hide a full complement of Häfele Clever Storage Solutions by Kesseböhmer.

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In the mood A spectacular view of Brisbane’s Story Bridge inspired the palette in this penthouse apartment – the walls are in Resene Masala Sparkling city lights can be just as dramatic as an expansive view by day, especially when that view encompasses a renowned landmark, such as the Story Bridge in Brisbane. This New Farm penthouse, built by Multispan Australia with interior design by Phorm Interiors, has precisely such an outlook. And it was this spectacular view that prompted the interior colour palette. The design team says they wanted to encapsulate the bridge within the space. To this end they specified Resene Masala


for the walls in the living area – the colour was chosen to complement the industrial hues of the steel. Together with the upholstered walls, custom-coloured carpets, granite benchtops, timber veneer and shutters painted in Resene Alabaster, the vibrancy of the Story Bridge is felt throughout the apartment. The designers also say the furnishings were chosen to extend the gallery feel created by the Resene Masala backdrop. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, a waterborne enamel, is recommended for

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broadwalls, such as this. Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss is recommended for trim and joinery, such as the shutters. For further details, contact Resene, phone tollfree 1800 738 383 or visit a Resene ColorShop or Reseller. Website: View, save or share this story online at Above: Walls in this contemporary New Farm penthouse are painted in Resene Masala.

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Nino Sanzari and Jon Vithoulka Managing Directors Starr Constructions puts customer satisfaction first when designing and building custom homes for its clients. Professional designers work closely with individual homeowners to design each home, which makes Starr Constructions a good choice for discerning clients.


Close to nature Tucked beneath a towering gum tree canopy, this new home built by Starr Constructions maximises the leafy outlook and provides the owners with every modern convenience Open-plan living has transformed our homes over the past few decades. It’s a concept this house expands on – living areas are not just connected with wide openings, they are also linked vertically. The two-level plastered concrete-block and slate-clad house, built by custom home specialist Starr Constructions, sits in an idyllic setting beside a majestic row of gum trees. The location is maximised by the design, which ensures the trees can be enjoyed from every room in the house, including the master bathroom.


An internal balcony wraps around the upper level, complementing the use of wrought iron balconies on the exterior of the house. Other special features include a gated entry and a separate garage pavilion with a second living area above. Starr Constructions, established more than 13 years ago, specialises in high-quality custom homes. Nino Sanzari says the company’s reputation and proven workmanship have resulted in many awards, including a Building Excellence Award from the Master Builders Association

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and an HIA NSW Housing Award. “Every house is designed to suit the owners’ lifestyle. We always meet with clients to discuss designs, and to address the logistics of building on each site.” For further information, contact Starr Constructions, PO Box 475, Moorebank, NSW 2170, phone (02) 9822 7799. Email: Website: View, save or share this story online at

Facing page and far left: This home, built by Starr Constructions, epitomises the high quality of workmanship that has earned the company many national awards. Above: The spacious open-plan living areas open to a sheltered outdoor terrace. They are also open to the upper level, which features a mezzanine library area. Left: Every room receives the same close attention to detail. Sculptural bathroom fixtures enhance the contemporary look of the interior.

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Graeme Alexander Designer/Director With its highly skilled team of tradespeople, Graeme Alexander Homes places an emphasis on developing exciting designs and quality home construction. The company, which has been in business for more than 25 years, also believes the builder-owner relationship is vital. Staff will liaise with clients at every step – from initial consultation through to finishing.

Lifestyle choice Whether you are building a new house or about to undertake a renovation, Graeme Alexander Homes can tailor your home to suit your way of life Just as every building site is different, so every new home or renovation project needs to be customised. Graeme Alexander Homes specialises in the design and build of quality custom homes that offer a distinctive point of difference. But every project has one thing in common, says owner Graeme Alexander – they all celebrate clients’ lifestyles. “Every project also reflects a close attention to detail and innovation,” he says. “Many of our sites are tricky, and require specific design solutions to ensure


views, indoor space and outdoor living areas are maximised.” The property shown above was designed for a couple nearing retirement. While the triangular-shaped site had broad views, there were also restrictions. In response, Graeme Alexander Homes dug the house into the site to reduce bulk and to provide easy access. “The modern, four-bedroom home has floor-to-ceiling glass and refined interiors,” says Alexander. “Raising the ceiling over the central core creates a grand feel.

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The house is set up for an easy lifestyle, with spacious interiors and a good indooroutdoor flow. There is also an elevator.” The house shown above right was a major renovation. Graeme Alexander Homes changed the indoor-outdoor flow from the southeast, adding a new pool and outdoor area facing northwest. This takes advantage of the views and sun, but avoids prevailing winds. There is also a new entertainer’s kitchen and lower-level living room. An upstairs rumpus room and deck, guest

bedroom and bathroom were added and the master bedroom was given an ensuite and walk-in wardrobes. Spacious living areas are also a feature of the new house shown at right, which features expansive glazing, including butted glass on one corner. For details, contact Graeme Alexander Homes, phone (03) 5975 4561. Or visit the website:

Facing page: A light, simple colour palette complemented by natural timber and stone ensures this customised new home designed and built by Graeme Alexander Homes nestles snugly into its site. The tailored landscape design melds the house into its environment. Above: The orientation of this existing house was changed to optimise views, sun and sheltered outdoor living spaces. Graeme Alexander Homes also made extensive changes to the interior.

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Left: This new home features expansive glazing that maximises a spectacular view.

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by the water

Far sighted Optimising the outlook while not detracting from the landscape is a design priority when you have breathtaking views to enjoy

Suited to the scenery Nestled into the hillside, this wood and stone house was designed to respond to the terrain and breathtaking panoramic views, while being respectful of the landscape When you have the opportunity to build a house in one of the most pristine parts of the country, you want to ensure every aspect of the view is maximised. However it’s also important for the architecture to be respectful of the neighbours and the surrounding landscape. This two-level house, by Sharon Jansen and Hugh Tennent of architecture firm Tennent + Brown, is situated on the side of a steep hill with panoramic views down the full length of Queen Charlotte Sound. The English owners wanted the view to be


the main focus of the house as this is what had attracted them to the site. Other considerations that had an impact on the design included strict resource consent conditions. These dictated the house maintain a low presence on the landscape and this helped drive the aesthetic, says Tennent. Preceding pages and these pages: A material palette of timber and stone ensures this new home designed by Tennent + Brown Architects blends into the bush background.

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“The initial plan was for a much larger three-storey house, with three segments spread across the site. This was revised and scaled back into a more compact unit in response to a change in the client brief. We were working with a very restricted building area so the design needed to have a tight footprint. “Essentially, our final strategy was to create a simple, rectilinear house that was recessed into the hill as a way to minimise its impact on the landscape and maximise the view from each room.”

Top and above: The kitchen combines sapele wood veneer cabinetry with granite and satinfinish stainless steel benchtops. Tennent + Brown Architects designed the tapa-cloth lamp which was made by Lighthouse Lighting. Above right and far right: Dark brown furnishings were chosen to complement the wooden floors and create a warm atmosphere. Outdoor living areas terrace down the hill where a spa pool and private cabana on the lower level were installed for guests. Each deck and room in the house was made as wide and open as possible in order to maximise the view of the Queen Charlotte Sounds.


Tennent + Brown’s choice of materials was equally appropriate to the unspoiled environment. The house is grounded against the hill with a natural stone-clad base of local Pukaka schist. A cedar second storey also helps it blend into the bush background. “A lot of other houses in the area look directly at this hill, so we wanted something that would recess into the bush. The material palette of timber and stone made it very easy for us to integrate the house into the landscape,” says the architect.

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Extensive retaining walls were required to stabilise the hill and serve to form outdoor living terraces to the north. “Because we were working with a tight footprint and a narrow site, the house really had to huddle back into the mountain to maximise the area in front of it for terracing. “The position of the house and its ability to catch the sun were also factors in the design. It’s an east-facing site, with a hill to its northwestern side, so the sun disappears quite early. The owners’ brief

was primarily for a family home that took advantage of the view but they also wanted the house to trap the sun.� In response to this, the design team devised a steeply pitched lantern, positioned over the entry and staircase void, which rises from the roofline to bring afternoon sun into the core of the house and down into the lower level. Although originally designed to accommodate visiting family, the two ground-floor bedrooms and garage were converted into a self-contained luxury bed

and breakfast amenity, which caters to international travellers. “For this reason, interior materials and finishes were selected to complement the scenery. The owners wanted it to look like a house in New Zealand,� Tennent says. A warm palette of browns and reds work with the saligna wood floors and cedar detailing around the staircase. Pacific and New Zealand-made furniture and fabrics, such as the tapa-cloth lampshade and curtains in the downstairs unit, were used throughout.

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Architect: Tennent + Brown Architects, project team Hugh Tennent NZIA, Sharon Jansen ANZIA, Brenda Solon, Lucy Feast Interior designer: Tennent+Brown Architects; owner Builder: David Kepes, Timbercraft Construction Kitchen designer: Tennent + Brown Architects Landscape designer: Nicole Thompson, Wraight + Associates Landscape Architects Roofing: Colorsteel from Contour Roofing Cladding: Pukaka schist stone; cedar from Herman Pacific Tiling: Crema Marfil from European Ceramics Flooring: Saligna wood Paints & varnishes: Resene Lighting: Impressions Lighting; ECC Blinds: Sallee from Peter Meyer Blinds Drapes: Russells Curtains Benchtops: Quantum Quartz Kitchen sink: Mercer Taps: Paini Dax R Oven and cooktop: Ilve Story by Ellen Dorset Photography by Marina Mathews

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Left: Although it wasn’t originally designed to include traveller accommodation, the house has converted seamlessly. Two bedrooms and a garage on the lower level were combined into one large guest suite with ensuite. The interior of the suite was fitted out by one of the owners. Above: The nature of the site demanded energy efficiency. Three large tanks hidden under the house collect rainwater, and the house has its own waste system. The lower decks, positioned to take in the panoramic views, are an ideal setting for weddings and celebrations.


All for the outlook Situated on a small, steep block of land overlooking Brisbane, this four-level home was designed to take advantage of its topography and views


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Above: Designed by Natalie Dixon and Kon Panagopoulos of KP Architects, this house is on a steep site that overlooks the Brisbane River and city beyond. The living and dining areas are positioned at the front of the third level so the owners can enjoy the view. Left: Situated on the edge of the river bend, the house was stepped back on the site to ensure the view was unobstructed by neighbouring houses and to retain privacy.

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Above: A void cut out of the centre of the house acts as a funnel that encourages natural light to flood through the internal spaces. A solitary tree in the middle of the small courtyard creates a connection to the outdoors, while the feature Tasmanian blackwood ceiling and lighting add warmth to the living room. One of the ideas behind the water feature was to provide an acoustic connection to the rest of the house, as a visual one was not possible due to its small size.


A million-dollar view is one thing most people envisage when they imagine their dream home, but it typically costs that much to make it a reality. For the owners of this house, located in a quiet culde-sac on the edge of the Brisbane River, that soughtafter view had been at their fingertips for over 50 years. Unfortunately they had only been able to enjoy glimpses of

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it from their low-lying 1940s home. So, having decided to rebuild, it was only natural that their new home would take full advantage of the view. Designed by Natalie Dixon and Kon Panagopoulos of KP Architects, this four-level house overlooks the river with views of the Brisbane city skyline beyond. The original property was demolished and the site excavated for insertion

of the new house. Situated on a steep 500m² west-facing site with a fall of approximately 10m from back to front, the house was designed to take advantage of its topography, says Panagopoulos. “Because there are houses in front of the property, it was important to create that clear sightline, without feeling like you were looking over other people’s roofs. Obviously the

higher you go, the better the views become.” This concept informed the design of the house, which is based on a series of concrete platforms. The house is separated into four overlapping levels, with the upper level set back into the block to reduce its apparent scale when viewed from the street. On this upper level, a roof deck has commanding views

of the river and cityscape, says Panagopoulos. “It was important for us to achieve a nice scale of space. We wanted the design to be respectful in terms of dimensions so it didn’t dominate the surroundings.” This was also an important factor with regard to council approval. “Because of the nature of the block and the topography,

Left: A plunge pool on the second level is connected to the courtyard above by way of the water feature. Because the void is completely open to the elements, sliding glass panels and glass louvres were a necessary addition and can be closed as required. The void encourages cross ventilation, so air conditioning is rarely used.

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Above: Understated furnishings throughout the house were chosen to reflect and enhance the views. On the top deck, the colour scheme is primarily black, white and vibrant blue, with added warmth from the timber decking. Right: An internal staircase leads to the roof deck on the top level. The breezeway looks from the deck and across the river to the park. The black frames and glass louvres complement the large areas of white.


we had to exceed the height restriction. It was a challenge getting through planning but in terms of streetscape, the scale was right, so that worked in our favour.� This sympathetic approach to the landscape influenced the choice of materials, as well as the architecture. The house needed to sit comfortably within its context and blend into its surroundings,

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while having more substance than the timber and tin homes typical of Queensland, says Panagopoulos. For this reason, a simple but robust palette of concrete render, timber, painted weatherboards and black and white ceramic tiles was chosen, aligning with the owner’s brief for contemporary, maintenancefree finishes that would stand up to the harsh sun.

The honest use of materials was carried through into the interior and directly informed the decor, says Panagopoulos. Timber panelling throughout the house is combined with concrete to create a sense of timelessness. These finishes work well with the neutral colour palette for furnishings and fabrics. To increase natural light levels in the internal spaces, a

funnel-like void was cut out of the centre of the house, creating an internal courtyard within which a solitary tree grows. Adjacent to the courtyard is a service core that contains the stair and lift. On the opposite side, a small plunge pool at the lower level is connected to the upper courtyard by way of a water feature that allows the sound of water to filter through the

house. Aside from reducing the need for artificial lighting, the void also encourages cross ventilation. And there are other advantages, too, says Panagopoulos. “The void creates a visual connection to all parts of the house, particularly the lower level, which is dedicated to the grandchildren. Various views through the void connect the family on the different levels.�

Top: Custom-made rugs were used throughout the house instead of carpet as in the guest bedroom, pictured. Simple, clean-lined window treatments ensure the visual connection through the house and to the views outside remains uncluttered. Above: The natural colour palette carries through to the guest bathroom on the third floor, which features a freestanding bath and floor tiles by Artedomus.

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Architect: Kon Panagopoulos AIA, Natalie Dixon, KP Architects (Brisbane) Interior designer: KP Architects Furnishings: Christine Scott, Interior Design Partners Builder: Mikat Constructions, Michael Arvanitagis Roofing: Lysaght Tiling: Artedomus; Classic Ceramics; Amber Albion Flooring: Boral Wallcoverings: Briggs Veneers Paints & varnishes: Dulux Lighting: LAD Group; Beacon Lighting; Coco Flip Window/door hardware: Ingersoll-Rand Blinds: Luxaflex Speakers: JB Hi-Fi Benchtops: Quantum Quartz Kitchen sink: Reece Taps: Reece Oven & cooktop: Miele Story by Ellen Dorset Photography by Scott Burrows

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Far left: On a site with such steep topography, a fall of approximately 10m from back to front, the house is separated into four overlapping levels set back from the street. Legend to plan: 1 garage, 2 entry, 3 lift, 4 study, 5 childrens room, 6 deck, 7 pool, 8 void, 9 kitchen, 10 dining, 11 living, 12 powder, 13 laundry, 14 WIR, 15 ensuite, 16 bedroom, 17 courtyard, 18 bathroom.

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Heightened colours This contemporary design maximises outdoor living space and sets up several vibrant tonal connections


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A house with expansive outdoor connections, will likely have light-filled interior living spaces. Introducing strong accent colours indoors is an attractive decor option, but balance is key. This clean-lined residence is the third in a series of Hover Houses designed by architect Glen Irani – the first was his own. Elevating the build form over the property frees up the ground level, creating an outdoor area complete with its own furniture and kitchen, says Irani. “The ground-level garage to the rear anchors the structure and acts as a torsion box, safeguarding the house from lateral movement

in this earthquake-prone area,” says Irani. “Steel cross bracing supports the building at the front and centre of the house.” Climbing the stairs to the first floor, guest are greeted by a vibrant green, open-air atrium. This looks through a frameless sliding glass front door into the blood-red stairwell. “The dramatic colours find mutual balance – either would have overwhelmed without the other – and are appropriate choices for ancillary or through spaces. The open-plan living areas beyond are finished with pale green walls and ceiling, offset by a red accent wall.”

Preceding pages, facing page and top left: This house has a sheltered outdoor space as a ground floor. Catifa chairs at the dining table and a Gandia Blasco couch create comfortable open-air seating. Above left: Encased in frosted glass, the cross bracing takes on an aesthetic appeal. A B&B Italia Charles sofa provides a neutral tone within the pale green space and contrasts the grey concrete floor that runs right through the residence.

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Architect, interior design, kitchen designer: Glen Irani, Glen Irani Architects (Venice, CA) Cabinet company: Functional Art Builder: Irani Projects Structural engineer: Steve Cox, Parker-Resnick Structural Engineering Cladding: SlateScape, Foundry Services Roofing: Pacific Polymers, JC Waterproofing Doors and windows: American Glazing Flooring: Concrete, integrally dyed Paints and varnishes: Frazee Lighting: Halo Heating: Hydronic radiant heat, Tekmar radiant controls from Energy Development Corporation Blinds: Hunter Douglas, Santa Monica Shades Kitchen cabinetry: Custom Finply with plastic laminate finish by Abet Laminati Benchtop: Walnut butcher block with Enviroseal sealant Oven: Miele Cooktop: Boffi Refrigeration: Thermador Dishwasher: Bosch Waste disposal: InSinkErator Vanity: Corian by Glen Irani Architects Basin: Corian Hot water systems: Takagi Shower fittings: Boffi Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Derek Rath

Preceding pages and top right: The open atrium looks into various spaces, including the red central stairwell. Riserless stairs add to the contemporary appeal and further the sense of space. The muted exterior tone was requested by the owners. Above right: A sliding glass wall separates master bedroom and ensuite. The deep red wall in the bedroom is identical in tone and orientation to an accent wall in the living room on the floor below.


“The use of colour was effective, given the sculptural form of the house,” says Irani. “Modernist and International-school architecture often favour a generous use of white, and this is a popular look. However, pale surfaces retreat visually, while bold hues help accentuate form.” The house only has 223m² of floor space, but Irani sees working with all the volumes in close proximity as a challenge. “Vistas into and between rooms had an impact on the decor. For example, I gave the kitchen island a walnut benchtop to create a furniture-like appeal – as the kitchen is a through

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space to the living areas. The strong blue of the cabinetry also balances the vivid green of the atrium beyond the window.” The generous use of vibrant colour is highly visible from the street – contrasting the grey cladding – and Irani has played this up. “A red accent wall in the master bedroom is the same tone and orientation as another in the living room directly below. From outside, the two walls are easily read as one.” See a gallery of images and video online at

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Coastal connections Offering a contemporary take on local seaside architecture, this house opens up to the views while maintaining a private street aspect


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Reasons for building afresh on the site of your existing home often include a love of the local area and landscape – factors that are likely to influence the new design. For this project, a sense of place was important to the client, who had lived on the coastal property for many years. He wanted the new house to enhance the experience of the site and its aspect to the water, and at the same time offer a modern reflection on classic coastal designs, says architect Richard Middleton. “In response, we designed the house

as a series of compositional built forms, maintaining privacy from the street and neighbouring properties, while creating a focus towards the harbour entrance and island beyond. The structure consists of a run of simple boxes oriented in a logical and coherent rhythm along the main axis of the topography. “The walls on the street side of the house are predominantly solid. However, beyond this facade, solidity gives way to transparency in the living spaces, which then open up to the beach and scenery.”

Above left: Nestled in between existing mature trees, this house by Novak+Middleton takes its cue from the simple forms of the original seaside community. Top and above: The sides and street facade of the house have few windows while the seaward facades are virtually walls of glass. Sliding doors fronting the dining and kitchen area, and the living room, can be stacked at either side or in the middle, opening the interiors to the view. A vista can also be enjoyed from the garage entrance, through the living area and out to the sea.

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Preceding pages: The interiors feature beadboard ceilings and wide-plank floors, both features of traditional coastal dwellings. An emphasis on natural materials includes decorative stone benchtops in the kitchen. Top: The dining table is placed near the windows. A bench beside the kitchen makes a handy seat from which to sit and chat with the chef. Above: Like the kitchen and dining area, the expansive living space has an indoor-outdoor connection. During inclement weather, with all doors closed, double glazing keeps the cold at bay.

The architectural forms are simple, reflecting the owner’s sense of connection to the local area and landscape. “Our intention for this design was to reference the vernacular of the original coastal dwellings and baches in the area. Classic gabled roof forms, a modern, flat version of classic shiplap cladding and crafted timber all contribute to the honest feel of the house,�says Middleton. The sense of place is brought indoors, too. Exposed rafters run out to the eaves, the beams and beadboard ceilings again

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contributing to the aesthetic, whereby the structure is expressed in the design. The interiors are laid out to optimise both views and social interaction. Dayto-day living is accommodated in the primary two-storey form, with open-plan living on the ground floor and the main bedroom area directly above. A contemporary interior touch is the use of pocket sliders to divide the openplan living spaces and also to section off the upstairs bedroom from the stairwell. While living areas and the master

bedroom are trained on the views, other architectural stratagems direct the eye. For example, the master bathroom has an angled bay widow that looks two ways but not straight ahead to a nearby house. Additional bedrooms in the home are set further back, offering sheltered, restful areas removed from the open-plan spaces. Passive solar design and other green principles were incorporated – the house has solar hot water heating and double glazing, and sustainable materials were used wherever possible.

Above: The open-plan dining and kitchen area can be separated from the living area by a discreet pocket door. Introducing a bookcase to the exterior of the island creates a soft transition between the kitchen and living spaces. Sliding doors in the living area open to a spacious, north-facing deck. Left: The kitchen splashback comprises an artwork purchased by the owner and set behind glass. Three substantial ovens in a row reflect the owner’s love of cooking and entertaining.

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Top and above: A sculptural light fitting provides a playful visual contrast in a house that is largely comprised of straight lines. Positioned at the top of the stair to the master suite, the fixture also draws the eye up through the double-height space. Right: A sliding timber wall divider is partially pulled back, revealing the stairwell beyond the master bedroom. Exposed rib ceiling beams continue from the bedroom out to the deck. Far right: A contemporary take on the classic bay window leads the eye off to left or right – not straight ahead, where the view is compromised.


Architect: Richard Middleton NZIA, Novak+Middleton (Wellington) Builder: Custom Homes Kitchen designer & supplier: Sandra Banks, Kitchens on Thorndon Cladding: Cedar from Crichton Timber Roofing: Copper Eurotray from ARFI Flooring: Engineered European oak Doors and windows: Cedar, from Rigg-Zschokke Window and door hardware: Architectural Hardware Drapes: The Cotton Store Furniture: Collin Bell from Corso de Fiori Benchtops: Trethewey Stone Splashback: Signwise

Oven, cooktop, microwave, dishwasher: Bosch, available from Kitchen Things Refrigeration: Fisher & Paykel, from Kitchen Things Bathroom vanity: Rigg-Zschokke, Trethewey Stone Basin: Robertson from Zip Plumbing Awards: NZIA Regional Award 2012 Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Paul McCredie

See a video and image gallery of this project

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index Abet Laminati 94 AEG 47 Agape 47 Alspec 47 American Glazing 94 Anvil Workshop 30 Architectural Hardware 103 Architectural Roof & Facade Innovations 103 Arne Jacobsen 47 Artedomus 87 Arvanitagis, Michael 80-87 Asko 52 Audio Video Consulting 41 Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring 41 Baldwin 41 Banks, Sandra 96-103 Bardes, David 41 Beacon Lighting 87 Bed, Bath and Table 58 Bega 41 Benjamin Moore 41 Boffi 94 Boral 87 Bosch 23 Briggs Veneers 87 Bruck 41 Bruhn Limestone 30 CDK Stone 2-3 Charles Eames 47 Charterhouse 52 Chatfield Audio Visual 30 Classic Ceramics 87 Colorbond 47 Colorsteel 79 ColorTile 32-33, IBC Contour Roofing 79 Corian 47, 94 Corso de’ Fiori 103 Cox, Steve 94 Crate & Barrel 41 Crichton Timber 103 Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association 7 Custom Homes 96-103 DAS 52 Debrich Custom Joinery 47 DH Bardes 41 Dixon, Natalie 80-87 Dulux 30, 47, 52, 87

ECC 79 Energy Development Corporation 94 Enviroseal 94 European Ceramics 79 Feast, Lucy 79 Fisher & Paykel 23 Foundry Services 94 Franke 47, 52 Frazee 94 Functional Art 94 Gaggenau 47 Geoff Burke Pools & Landscaping 30 George Nelson 41 Glen Irani Architects 88-94 Graeme Alexander Homes 68-71 Griepink & Ward 30 Grumbacher 41 Hacin + Associates 34-41 Hacin, David FAIA 34-41 Häfele 60-61, 95 Halo 94 Hardware & General 9 Havwoods 47 Hawksworth Bibb 41 Herman Pacific 79 Hettich 4 Hocking Build & Construct 22-31 Hunter Douglas 94 IB Rubinetterie 52 Ilve 52, 79 Imperial Ware 52 Impressions Lighting 79 InSinkErator 94 Ingersoll-Rand 87 Interior Design Partners 80-87 Interstyle Kitchens 30 Irani Projects 88-94 Irani, Glen 88-94 Jansen, Sharon ANZIA 72-79 Japan Ceramics 32-33, IBC JB Hi-Fi 87 JC Waterproofing 94 Jetmaster 30, OBC JSB Lighting 47 Kartell 52 Kepes, David 79 Kesseböhmer 60-61, 95 Kitchens on Thorndon 96-103

Knoll 41 KP Architects 80-87 LAD Group 87 Le Parqueteur 30 Liebherr 47 Lightolier 41 Ligne Roset 41 Linen House 58 Lucia Lighting 58 Lutron 41 Luxaflex 87 Lysaght 47, 87 Madinoz 47 Massimo Interiors 48-53 McPike, Julian 10-21 Meizai 52 Mercer 79 Mesmer, Greg 41 Middleton, Richard NZIA 96-103 Miele 30, 87, 94 Mies van der Rohe 47 Mikat Constructions 80-87 Minotti 41 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams 41 Mitsubishi Electric 52 Monier 52 MPR Design Group 42-47 Novak + Middleton 96-103 Nysan 47 Pacific Polymers 94 Paini 79 Panagopoulos, Kon AIA 80-87 Parallel Constructions 42-47 Parker-Resnick Structural Engineering 94 PD Joinery 30 Pedrali 52 Peter Glass & Associates 47 Peter Meyer Blinds 79 Philippe Starck 52 Pittella 30 Porters Paints 58 Prescolite 41 Proline Aluminium 47 Quantum Quartz 52, 79, 87 Real Flame 30 Reece 87 Resene 62, 79 Rigg-Zschokke 103 Roof Service 30 Roy’s Antiques 54-59

Royston Wilson Design 22-31 Russells Curtains 79 Saarinen 47, 52 Santa Monica Shades 94 Sarkis, Jeff 48-53 Scott, Christine 80-87 SieMatic 41 Signwise 103 Skydome 47 Slattery and Acquroff 30 Solomon, Nicholas 42-47 Solon, Brenda 79 Speroni, Massimo 48-53 Starr Constructions 64-67 STS Stone 47 Takagi 94 Technika 52 Tekmar 94 Tennent + Brown Architects 72-79 Tennent, Hugh NZIA 72-79 The Brass Center 41 The Cotton Store 103 The Modern Fan Company 41 Thermador 94 Thompson, Nicole 79 Timbercraft Construction 79 Transtherm IFC-1 Trends Publishing International 8, 63 Trethewey Stone 103 Turner Brothers 47 Urmet 47 Vermont Structural Slate 41 Vintec IFC-1 Vola 47 Warwick 52 West Valentine 22-31 Westinghouse 52 Williams, Roy 54-59 Wilson, Royston 22-31 WK Marble & Granite 30 Wraight + Associates Landscape Architects 79 Zealous Group 48-53 Zip 52 Zip Plumbing 23

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Grand Designs, Apartments, The Great Australian Dream, By The Water


Grand Designs, Apartments, The Great Australian Dream, By The Water