Encouraging Openness – Kenley Court by Rob Mills Architecture and Interiors
Toorak, VIC, Australia

Photography Mark Roper
Words Bronwyn Marshall

A distinct European influence sees Kenley Court sees a encourage an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, with the home carefully opened to its surrounding gardens. Rob Mills Architecture and Interiors utilises formality and highly crafted details in conjuring a home that resonates strongly with its occupants.

Within its Toorak locale, in Melbourne’s inner southeast, Kenley Court stands bold and respectful of its many heritage neighbours, while playing its part as a connector to the past and heritage for its owners. Taking heeded influence from the familiar European and Italian settings, the elements that comprise a life lived outdoors and amongst a large family are then expressed and reinterpreted in this contemporary home. The grand and generous proportions create a sense of place and hint at the home having its own unique identity, while the highly detailed and crafted elements see an engagement with local artisans and makers to create authentic references to the original stylings. Rob Mills Architecture and Interiors together with Paul Bangay Garden Design have created a balanced home, which encourages an openness and connection with its garden.

The grand and generous proportions create a sense of place and hint at the home having its own unique identity, while the highly detailed and crafted elements see an engagement with local artisans and makers to create authentic references to the original stylings.

Dotted throughout are impressive design gestures, and as a result, an element of theatre presents itself in the home. Its stylings reference an Italian setting where the indoor/outdoor lifestyle is encouraged, further encouraging open and welcoming connectedness. Through the engagement of local antique curators and collectors, many original elements were sourced, including 19thcentury doors that set the expected tone for the home upon entry. Through a deliberate openness, the traditional and more formal aspects of the design are counterbalanced by a relaxed familiarity of its nods to heritage and through access to the outdoors.

As a place to entertain and to gather, the lofted volumes are intentionally inviting. The traditional references are less seen in the spatial planning, which has more modern sensibilities integrated. Throughout, the outdoors and the carefully manicured gardens are approached as an extension of the home, becoming their own rooms. The overall flow of the home allows for long visual connections with steel-framed glass doors and windows that sit in crisp contrast to the hand rendered plaster and stone.

The overall flow of the home allows for long visual connections with steel-framed glass doors and windows that sit in crisp contrast to the hand rendered plaster and stone.

As a combined heritage and contemporary home, Kenley Court brings elements of the past and its owner’s own story together in one place. Rob Mills Architecture and Interiors has brought a taste of Europe to inner Melbourne, through a celebration of a connection to outdoor spaces.

Kenley Court By Rob Mills Architecture And Interiors – Project Feature – The Local Project Image 19
Published 27 February, 2021
Photography  Mark Roper
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