Organic Refinement – Fawkner House by Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors
An offering of nine generously-scaled homes, Fawkner House pays homage to the Notre Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier in Ronchamp, combining an organic approach to form and mass with a celebration of light. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors focuses on quality finishing and instilling an enduring nature to the resulting medium density homes, optimising and maximising the South Yarra address.
Located at the edge of the city of Melbourne along the south side of the Yarra River, Fawkner House sits suitably apt amongst neighbours of similar grand proportions and overall scale. In a fitting alignment with the single occupancy homes to either side, the medium density development captures a similar spirit in terms of massing and classical proportions, intended to be in place for years to come, retaining a relevance. While the homes all have their own character, the area is also a diverse mix of historical styles, allowing for a personalisation by each owner. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors draws from the surrounding context as a statement of architecture that endures through time and retains a sense of presence in the process.
Collaborating with landscape design by famed landscape architect Paul Bangay, the homes sit surrounded by a curated setting of formal and native plantings. An overall sculptural approach defines the building, with masonry used to anchor the homes to the site and as a testament to an intended longevity and commitment to quality. While the form is broken down through an articulation of enclosed terraces and setback glazing, it could also be mistaken for a singular residence. Yet once within, access to the separate residences reveals otherwise.
Internally, a similar approach to materiality continues, with expressive stone and carefully crafted formwork softening the edges of the spaces and creating a grandeur from the entry onwards. Encouraging an interaction with incoming light and allowing the surfaces to appear animated throughout the day, curved vertical features hint at movement and elevate the interior as a result. The insertion of linear brass elements in the kitchen adds a nod of quality, while modernising the spaces and allowing for personalisation from a more muted base. Throughout, spaces for artwork have been created as part of the journey of moving through the home, reminiscent of a gallery in ways. With generous wide accessways and lifted ceilings, the feeling of being in a building of high significance is created.
Encouraging an interaction with incoming light and allowing the surfaces to appear animated throughout the day, curved vertical features hint at movement and elevate the interior as a result.
As a combination of soft and crisp elements, Fawkner House echoes a European stability and fortitude. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors has created a statement in the building itself, whose intended longevity in place speaks to an enduring approach.