Two-Peaks House & Studio lies hidden in the leafy heritage surrounds of Elwood in Melbourne’s inner south, concealed from street view by the red brick proportions of the existing Edwardian dwelling , shielding a lush rear garden with tall pine tree hedge and two large palm trees in the far corner. Sustainability and sensitivity to the site were particularly important to the client, and this kicked off lengthy discussions of the precedents of Australian Modernism and the classic passive sustainable design principles of orientation, light, typology and spatial section employed so successfully by these architects. The briefed areas to the main house were reduced to the essentials, resulting in a modest parti which reduced the footprint of the existing dwelling and prioritised the celebration of light and views. Importantly, the collection of small dark brick rooms at the back of the house were removed and the house opened up into one beautiful, bright and open living and kitchen area fully immersed into the new garden landscape.
A new roof-form boldly rakes upwards facing towards the open-plan living room, creating a dramatic raking ceiling, flooding the room with natural daylight. The formal living rooms at the front of the house have been retained as a library and study area, and a pivot door separates formal from informal living. The master-suite has been inspired by the client’s love of antique furniture, with tiles creating a ‘Persian Rug’ effect covering the entire floor and seeing off the original bath and walk-in shower recess with full-length handrail. 3 key bespoke joinery pieces were designed as “heirloom antiques” for the client – the vanity, the island bench and the living room entertainment unit – utilising two-toned veneer and curved corners, themselves acting as heirlooms for the house.
Accessibility has been considered throughout, with level thresholds everywhere, full-width handrails in shower recesses, electronic bidet seats, shower rails that double as handrails, consistent use of task lighting, widened door opening widths, high quality light fixtures and abundant natural daylight to assist with vision.