Turn device to landscape mode for larger images.
The Kew Residence is a new two-storey residence in Kew, Victoria. It is located at the end of a quiet court where all of the existing houses are in formal, traditional styles. Since no other new construction had yet taken place, one goal was to maintain this character without creating a reproduction house. The brief required the usual living and support areas in addition to a formal sitting room, home office, media room, rumpus, gym, basement garage, and a lift. This was all to fit on a mid-size block whilst retaining enough space in the rear yard for a swimming pool and entertaining area.
The street façade is predominantly based on the Neo-Georgian style of the house that was previously on the site. However, it is combined with elements borrowed from other more recent styles to update it and distinguish it from the older homes. The typical boxy form of this style also suits the need to use all of the available land to its fullest.
The interior and rear of the house is an eclectic mix of Art Deco and contemporary elements. This was partially derived from ornate Art Deco details that were in the original house. Two leadlight windows were salvaged for reuse in the sitting room, and several of the unique plaster ceiling panels were saved as well. New steel doors and windows were used in locations selected for maximum impact, both externally and internally. Other doors, trimwork, cornices, and even door hardware were selected that suit the style. However, little of it is overtly Art Deco so that it can subtly blend with the contemporary feel of the spaces.
Since a relatively large house had to fit on a medium block, the floor plans had to be compact and efficient. This principally meant keeping the circulation spaces to a minimum so the living areas could be generous. Proper zoning within the house helps with this. The formal private areas and study were placed on the front of the house, separated from the noisier areas of the home. The main family areas were spread across the rear of the house in an open plan. The dining and kitchen have floor to ceiling sliding doors to maximise the light, views, and access to the alfresco and rear yard. The lounge has smaller windows to create a cozier feel, although it has an expansive picture window in the rear wall which literally frames a view to the pool. The private bedrooms and rumpus were placed on the first floor. The garage, gym, and media room, where natural light is less critical, are in the basement.