ROCK SOLID
Belle Magazine Australia|October 2020
The classical proportions of this chateau-style home in Melbourne have been offset with the chiselled, brute strength of stone to create a sense of warm minimalism.
CARLI PHILIPS

Neatly poised behind iron gates, this house sits in a pebbled forecourt lined with red oak trees. Lush and leafy in summer, stripped and bare-boned in winter, they diligently stand sentry towards the porch where a robust door marks the very centre of the property’s deeply symmetrical facade. With its series of shuttered, arched windows, there’s a chateau-like sensibility to the picturesque setting. Only a weighty aluminium and timber sculpture-like object hints at the unlikely interiors to follow.

Beyond the entrance, designer Fiona Lynch has worked her magic. About 15 years old, the house has now been transformed into a more contemporary canvas for the new owners who were drawn to its flattering composition and the oculus that pierces through both levels. No structural changes were made (aside from the gentle repositioning of the powder room) and the footprint remained the same. Of the architecture, Fiona says, “There is something quite Roman about the architecture of this house, with its archways, glass-topped void and domed ceiling … it has lovely proportions.”

Light from a skylight in the central atrium pools into the circular foyer and fanning outwards are communal areas; one living room each to the left and right of the entry, a dining room and a sitting room towards the back, and the kitchen at the rear. Charcoal-stained timber stairs lead to the mezzanine floor where blackened steel balustrading rims the circumference, designed to “frame views between levels … creating a gallery for art and objects over two floors”.

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