Hawthorn House sees InForm create a pared-back inner Melbourne home that speaks to its period surrounds with strict lines and robust material juxtapositions that belie the soothing lightness of touch in its interior.
In reference to the gabled homes typical to its established suburban surrounds, InForm, in collaboration with architects Pleysier Perkins arrived at a pared back version with two simple, barn-like forms reminiscent of a style of Scandinavian house that are conjoined at right angles to form an L-shaped parcel. The interior too has a spare, Scandinavian feel reflected in the clean lines, subtle textures and a muted palette predominating in shades of grey throughout spaces that radiate horizontally and vertically from the social centre of the house into more private zones.
The exterior’s contemporary hard-edge appearance is highlighted by a striking palette of juxtaposed materials and textures. Planes of flat black tiles on the gabled roofs cap the conjoined white bagged-brick cuboid parcels – one running north-south, the other east-west – which are inserted with panels of slatted red cedar and glass framed in black metal. In stark contrast are terraced planes of green lawn in the front and back gardens and an azure-coloured swimming pool that stretches in front of a minimalistic outdoor living area across the southern end of the property.
Situated on a sloping hillside, the house and garden are respectively stepped and terraced in line with the topography of the site. A second storey in the main wing of the house and increased ceiling heights in the living areas exploit the topography to enhance natural light within the interior and its outward views. In the upper level, for instance, a ribbon window running the full length of the western wall and wrapping around and along the front, northern wall of the master bedroom enables views into the front and back gardens as well as, from upstairs, across to the Melbourne city skyline.
Central to this home is a double-storeyed void that sits above the dining area. While it provides a link with the upper level of the house, a lineal skylight in its gabled ceiling enables northern light to flood into the main living areas of the house at all times of the year and highlights the importance of this space for gathering, sharing and exchange. Additional light enters both wings of the house through panels of floor-to-ceiling glass that face directly into the garden. The use of natural light helps to accentuate the simple, honest and calming nature of the interior, highlighting its clean lines, subtle textures and the muted colour palette that varies at different times of the day.
In collaboration with the client, and in response to surrounds and site, InForm has produced a smart contemporary update to the traditional homes of the area – both formally and materially. The pared back nature of both exterior and interior highlights the use of materials, textures and colours to create a striking and robust exterior and a contrastingly soothing interior that is maximised through the clever use of space and light in both shared and private zones, to say nothing of its soothing views.