A Multi-Generational Australian Home Basks in Park Views
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A Multi-Generational Australian Home Basks in Park Views

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A Melbourne family home is renovated to include a granny flat for the husband’s parents and strengthen its connection to surrounding green spaces.

The owners of Kew East House, a triple-story, 2,853-square-foot home in the Melbourne suburb from which it gets its name, are a couple with two teenagers who sought to maximize their wonderful, parkland views and add an internal "granny flat" on the ground floor. The husband’s parents currently spend half the year in India, and half the year with them, but will eventually move into the home permanently. 

To achieve these goals, the homeowners reached out to Patrick Jost, founder of local firm Jost Architects, who focused on finding ways to create efficient interiors that maintain a strong visual connection to the scenic park nearby.

The facades of Kew East House are banded with interlocking, metal panel fascias that weave it into the streetscape. 

The facades of Kew East House are banded with interlocking, metal panel fascias that weave it into the streetscape. 

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"The interlocking panel fascias look a little like the Nokia Snake game folding and raking between the two properties and sandwiching the layers of the house within them," says Jost.

"The interlocking panel fascias look a little like the Nokia Snake game folding and raking between the two properties and sandwiching the layers of the house within them," says Jost.

"Located on a complex site with a very steep fall down towards the street with strict council setbacks, the house is recessed within the slope," says Jost. "The banded fascias fold and rake, vertically and horizontally, braiding the building into the streetscape. The functional spaces are layered within this fabric."

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As with the external materials, the internal finishes are robust and earthy with the stone for the kitchen countertops chosen for its ability to handle the brightly colored spices and powders of Indian cuisine.

As with the external materials, the internal finishes are robust and earthy with the stone for the kitchen countertops chosen for its ability to handle the brightly colored spices and powders of Indian cuisine.

The interior finishes are simple with a palette that's designed to last both physically and aesthetically.

The interior finishes are simple with a palette that's designed to last both physically and aesthetically.

The materials for the exterior of house were chosen for durability and their tonal hues, which complement the large eucalyptus trees enveloping the site.

Venture Plank engineered timber flooring in the Oak Quantum finish run throughout the home.  

Venture Plank engineered timber flooring in the Oak Quantum finish run throughout the home.  

Coco Bar Stools by Vorsen provide plenty of kitchen seating.

Coco Bar Stools by Vorsen provide plenty of kitchen seating.

The private areas, which include a master bedroom and an additional formal living lounge on this first level, are separated from the main living areas by a corridor.

The living room is a comfortable, serene space with a balance of prints and textures presided over by a bold Galileo pendant from Lights Lights Lights.

The living room is a comfortable, serene space with a balance of prints and textures presided over by a bold Galileo pendant from Lights Lights Lights.

The living areas all have direct access to natural light and cross ventilation, with good air circulation at the first level over the garage and internal granny flat. On the upper level are the two children’s bedrooms and a rooftop balcony that overlooks the park and beyond to the city. 

The rooftop balcony captures views of the park.

The rooftop balcony captures views of the park.

Many factors contribute to the energy-efficient dwelling: a thermally broken window system; passive solar design with eave overhangs, external sliding, and fixed timber batten screens; and a 4.95kW PV System.

A Posh Solus freestanding bath anchors the bathroom.

A Posh Solus freestanding bath anchors the bathroom.

"Considering its generous size, this house is able to respond to the changing external conditions, operating efficiently and effectively to maintain comfort for its occupants," says Jost. "It is a house that sits comfortably within its environment, and that will also adapt to the changing demographic of the family."

The burnt ash exterior timber cladding by Woodform Architectural features alternating thicknesses.

The burnt ash exterior timber cladding by Woodform Architectural features alternating thicknesses.

The building itself integrates into the street and is sensitive to its adjoining dwellings. 

The building itself integrates into the street and is sensitive to its adjoining dwellings. 

Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design: Jost Architects / @jostarchitects 

Builder: Dick Reynolds Building

Structural engineering: Deery Consulting Structural Engineers

Civil engineering: Vert Engineering

Landscape design: Jim Fogarty Design 

Collaborator: Energylab