Preston Residence, Recently Completed

Our thanks, as always to Derek Swalwell Photography for a great shoot recently in Geelong. Derek has again managed to capture the essence and flavour of our recently completed build in Preston Street.

The double fronted Victorian weatherboard has been lovingly restored to its former glory, with the retention of the original four front rooms, and the removal of earlier faux Victorian style additions to the rear.

The original cottage is thus now presented in its original form and partnered with a contrasting modern pavilion behind it.

So as to enable each to share equal moment, we have subtly connected them via a delicate glazed bridge link which traverses the shallows of a newly introduced swimming pool.

The cottage has been repurposed to provide the quieter spaces of the home, a bedroom, study and retreat space being included. The new pavilion style accommodation by contrast, provides for the more robust requirements of a family living environment, with kitchen, dining and laundry spaces combining with the master bedroom suite, remotely positioned to the rear.

The structure rests between garden courts and overlooks the new pool and covered outdoor entertaining space.

The interiors have been furnished with thanks to Jardan, Ross Gardam, Domo, Pittella & Vzug. The selections offer a seamless transition and link between the two halves of the building.

To view more images of this project click here.

Brand Building

We are pleased to be involved in the continuing success and expansion of the Interpack brand. Following the initial design and implementation of their first manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters in Victoria, they are now expanding with the construction of a second production facility with associated offices.

A recent site visit reveals the impressive expanse of this new facility, precast panels now begin to wrap the vast steel framework, work is underway on the two storey office component and basement car parking.

As with the first installation, cutting edge technology will be implemented in their production processes to ensure Interpack remains at the forefront of their industry.







Planning Approved

The wait is over, and we’re thrilled to announce that within the space of a week, two of our residential projects, one in Albert Park, the other in Camberwell, both delayed as a consequence of a prolonged planning process, have at last been approved at VCAT. Congratulations to our clients on the result, and for their tenacity and belief in the product.

Both were subject to Heritage controls and it has again been demonstrated that there is a place for well-considered contemporary design, within our heritage neighbourhoods.

Our thanks go out to Bryce Raworth for his invaluable Heritage Advise, to Ratio Planning consultants and The Hanson Partnership for seeing us through the planning labyrinth towards two brilliant results.

Now let’s get them built!

Japanese inspired charred timber

As part of our regular eJournal, we bring you products that we’re excited by. In this issue we highlight Japanese inspired charred timber.

It’s hard to visit Japan and fail to notice the beauty of their modest dwellings clad in charred timber. Travelling through Kyoto in 2017, we captured many examples of this traditional building material and were greatly inspired by its diversity of use. On return to Melbourne, we became aware of several suppliers offering this unique finish. Several of our projects, currently under construction utilise charred timber in a range of applications, including our Merricks Residence mentioned in eJournal 01.

We are very excited to see the results and will keep you posted. We are currently specifying and sourcing from the guys at Eco timbers in Richmond.






Raising our Profile

As part of our recent marketing activities, the awesome design team at Visua have developed an abridged version of our company profile, which is available as an interactive PDF, making it easy to distribute to new and prospective clients. Feel free to download a copy by clicking the link below.

Download SDA Profile








SDA eJournal 01

We hope you enjoyed our very first eJournal.

Below are the archived articles should you want to refer to them in the future. Don’t forget to become a subscriber and we’ll keep you informed of future SDA eJournal updates.










Our Latest Hawthorn Project

We are grateful to Derek Swalwell Photography for doing such a great job capturing our latest residential offering in Hawthorn. A large family home fronting the Yarra River reserve.

This unique property abuts native parkland with enviable views across the Yarra River towards Melbourne’s skyline.

Whilst still amongst the familiar tapestry of a brick and terra cotta clad suburbia, cues for this new home where taken from its parkland setting, rather than from neighbouring dwellings.

Here instead, we have adopted a pallet of raw, earthy materials uncharacteristic to the area. Stone dry-stack walling, natural cement renders, recycled timbers and dark metal screen louvers, combine and reach out to make a strong connection to the park.

Utilising the sites sloping topography down towards the park, and with all the living areas strung along a single upper level, we enter the house ‘at-grade’ and continue through to the family living zones to the rear, these rooms being suspended a full floor above the park interface. Resting high amongst the tree canopies, they evoke an almost ‘tree-house’ experience.

The robust architecture is beautifully complemented by the native garden surround, skillfully crafted by Phillip Johnson Landscapes, to blend seamlessly into the connected parkland.

Images by Derek Swalwell Photography
Garden Design by Phillip Johnson Landscapes

Elevated Outdoor Living

With modern homes ever-increasing in size, ensuring there is sufficient quality outdoor living space, particularly on smaller blocks, is becoming something of a challenge. This month we share a solution that has provided many of our recent clients with, not only valuable outdoor space, but also some unexpected wow factors to enjoy.

Often buried in the roof form and barely visible from either street or neighbouring properties, the contemporary roof-terrace offers endless opportunities for outdoor living and entertaining.

When planned well as part of the original design, it can offer expansive additional ‘found’ space at a very reasonable cost.

Positioned and detailed appropriately, it can capture panoramic views whilst still offering seclusion and privacy.

The inclusion of a wet bar and BBQ will make this ‘found space’ a true entertainer. In some cases, we have added a dumb waiter connecting to the kitchen below.

There are some very clever access systems now available to get you onto your new deck, one manufacturer we favor is Tilt Industrial Design typically, they supply and install a 4 metre by 1 metre wide framed and glazed operable panel. When closed, it lays flush to the terrace floor offering natural light to the levels below, when activated remotely, it raises vertically, providing access to the roof and a protecting balustrade running along the opening. A rain sensor automatically returns the lid to its closed position if left open, very clever.

With a number of such terraces adorning our recent work, we have become somewhat seasoned performers in getting the best results from this simple, yet cost effective idea.

In The Press

We are late comers to OPUMO the on-line lifestyle magazine and store operating out of London. We are really enjoying their mix of architecture, design and fashion from around the globe.

We were pleased to have one of our latest rural properties featured in the magazine recently. Strange to think this high country hide-away would be seen by many on the other side of the planet.

Click here to view the article online







The Craft of the Stonemason

Each month we’d like to throw the spotlight on some of the talented designers, master craftspeople and artisans that we collaborate with in the production of our architecture, many unsung heroes that simply let their work speak for them.

Today we give a grateful nod to Peter Shinn of Instone Constructions a master stonemason in every sense of the word.

Over the years Pete has worked on many of our buildings, both rural and urban. We love the character this material brings to our work and it is Pete’s brilliant application that really brings it to life.

Working predominantly with natural Castlemaine Slate, laid using the dry-stack method, he brings a level of craftsmanship, the like of which is all too rare to find these days.

We hope you enjoy the selection of images assembled, a small sample of the masters handywork.

Our hats off to you Pete, thanks for all your continued great work.

Peter Shinn
Instone Constructions
Telephone 0409 796 295

Work in Progress: Merricks Project

We are very pleased to announce that our project at Merricks, on the Mornington Peninsula, has received un-conditional planning approval and working drawings are now well underway.

This beautiful, virgin 50 acre block has been purchased as a lifestyle investment for our busy city based clients, working both the hospitality and property development worlds.

Along with plans to establish the substantial residence and country retreat for themselves, their children and guests, the masterplan of the property also designates areas for the cultivation of grapes and olives, for landscaping around existing ponds and  the provision of pasture for cattle.

We are honored to be on board with this ambitious undertaking. Having collaborated successfully on a number of urban residential projects in the past, we are confident our clients will be looking to achieve the very highest level of detail, quality and finish in this Merricks country estate.

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