MEL­BOURNE

An ar­chi­tect’s own house is a se­ries of beau­ti­ful spa­ces ren­dered in brick, concrete, traver­tine and tim­ber.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs RICHARD P OW­ERS Words CARLI PHILIPS

The ar­chi­tect own­ers of this prop­erty fo­cused on cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful time­less spa­ces be­hind its her­itage fa­cade.

This page Sim­plic­ity: Wild Bruch 3 & 4 by Vic­tor Bonato hangs above a Bas­samFel­lows daybed. Op­po­site page An Oluce ‘Lyn­don’ wall light at the en­trance to the prop­erty. Tom Dixon door hard­ware.

This page In the liv­ing room an Ar ex ‘Marenco’ arm­chair and ot­toman in­vite re­lax­ation. Ap­palling Mo­ment art­work by Brent Har­ris. Op­po­site page, from top Un­ti­tled #16 and #27 by Bill Hen­son hang above a Cap­pellini ‘Sofa with Arms’ by Shiro Ku­ra­mata and a Paolo Piva ‘Alanda’ co ee ta­ble. Light Works by Jonathan Jones. The fa­cade hints as its ori­gins as an in­dus­trial build­ing.

Are­ally good ‘party house’ has cer­tain re­quire­ments: big, open spa­ces, great acous­tics, high ceil­ings and fab­u­lous hosts that aren’t too pre­cious. En­ter ar­chi­tects Kerry Phe­lan and Stephen Javens who built their home in the ram­shackle garage bar­racks of an old mil­i­tary build­ing in Mel­bourne. The hard­wood oor means no dam­age con­trol is needed for spilt drinks, all the win­dows open up for cir­cu­la­tion, the sound from speak­ers trav­els right through and there are bal­conies so guests can take a breather.

“It’s a great en­ter­tain­ing house and in­stantly puts ev­ery­one in a good frame of mind,” says Stephen. “We’ve had some sen­sa­tional par­ties where I danced for ve hours and peo­ple didn’t leave un­til 4am,” says Kerry. “It was great for us – maybe not so great for the neigh­bours.”

The prop­erty was a labour of love and, in parts, an ex­per­i­ment. Kerry and Stephen built it over seven years while they worked on client projects as co-di­rec­tors at Kerry Phe­lan De­sign Of ce.

While ev­ery­thing be­hind the her­itage fa­cade was built new, Stephen says that by the time they moved in the house al­ready felt old, “but in a re­ally good way! It just never had that new car smell. There’s a feel­ing of re­ally solid per­ma­nence.” Con­structed in face brick, left raw on the out­side and painted white inside, the build­ing is re­strained and hon­ours the sim­plic­ity of sil­ver traver­tine, shut­tered concrete and tim­ber as well as brick. Colours are or­ganic and stem from the nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. “It’s been de­signed like an ur­ban fortress be­cause it’s quite tough. It’s a very solid, in­tro­spec­tive house,” says Stephen.

Strad­dling three laneways in a densely pop­u­lated neigh­bour­hood, the sev­enby-seven-me­tre court­yard is rare, but Stephen says max­imis­ing space for the sake of prac­ti­cal­ity was not pri­ori­tised. “This was not de­signed to be your stan­dard three-car, three-bed­room house. If some­body else had built it they might have used the court­yard as extra park­ing, but for us, one carspace was ne.”

De­spite the block’s size, the re­laxed na­ture of neg­a­tive space was cel­e­brated. “Rooms that had no par­tic­u­lar func­tion were ne,” says Stephen. “We just love beau­ti­ful spa­ces.” Orig­i­nally planned to be a li­brary, the en­try area was trans­formed into a “room for no rea­son,” just a space host­ing art and some

“RO OMS THAT HAD NO

PA RT I CU L A R

FUN C TI O N WERE F I N E. WE J U S T LOV E B E AU T I F U L S PAC E S.”

This page, clock­wise from top le A Jür­gen Klauke art­work hangs above a re­stored pear­wood bench. A USM ‘Haller’ side­board car­ries Vic­tor Greenaway ce­ram­ics. John Nixon art­work. Flos ‘Tab’ light. The kitchen is separated from the liv­ing area by a split dark concrete panel. Di­ne­sen soap-washed „oor­ing. Op­po­site page Din­ing chairs are a mix of Thonet ‘Bent­wood’ and Cassina ‘Cab’ chairs. De Padova ‘Tavolo 95’ ta­ble holds a Dri­ade ‘Si­mon’ can­de­labra and a Pro­duzione Pri­vata ‘Glacier’ vase. Queen art­work by Polly Bor­land.

SPEED READ

» Ar­chi­tects Kerry Phe­lan and Stephen Javens, di­rec­tors of K.P.D.O., cre­ated a home out of the ram­shackle garage of an old mil­i­tary build­ing in Mel­bourne.

» Be­hind its her­itage fa­cade a new build­ing was con­structed of brick, concrete, traver­tine and tim­ber – sim­ple ma­te­ri­als used in a very graphic way.

» Rooms with no par­tic­u­lar func­tion were in­cluded, the cou­ple pre­fer­ring to have gor­geous spa­ces to house art and a ju­di­cious se­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture.

» A time­less mood prevails in the de­sign with per­son­al­ity com­ing from 70s ce­ram­ics, 80s fur­ni­ture, Ital­ian and Scan­di­na­vian glass­ware and vin­tage tex­tiles from Greece and Morocco.

fur­ni­ture in­clud­ing an or­ange Glas Italia side ta­ble, graphic Paolo Piva ‘Alanda’ cof­fee ta­ble and sunny Cap­pellini ‘Sofa with Arms’ by Shiro Ku­ra­mata.

Sim­i­larly, a small room at the top of the stairs houses noth­ing aside from a glossy red Po­liform chest, Fritz Hansen ‘Swan’ chair and Cassina ‘Cicognino’ side ta­ble. Com­bined with the ab­sence of doors, these “link­ing spa­ces” foster a loose foot­print where ar­eas ow into one another rather than be­ing strictly con ned. “Of course there are prac­ti­cal con­cerns for peo­ple, but this house was for us so we didn’t care. Ev­ery part of the house had to be gor­geous,” says Kerry.

A two-storey void runs through the cen­tre, with the mas­ter bed­room over­look­ing the open-plan din­ing and liv­ing. “We didn’t want to be closed in. The idea of walls kind of horri es me,” says Kerry. To de­lin­eate the liv­ing area from the kitchen, a split dark concrete panel forms a par­ti­tion. Through­out the house, glimpses and sliv­ers of light are care­fully framed. The en­closed stair­well reaches to­wards a land­ing of light while nar­row win­dows splice the brick walls.

Great care was taken to cre­ate a time­less home that wouldn’t date. “We’re in an age when fur­ni­ture and de­sign and light­ing often be­come the hero pieces and add the colour. When you do a res­i­den­tial pro­ject you have to be care­ful not to put too much per­son­al­ity in it so the peo­ple who take on the house or the in­te­rior can feel con dent to over­lay their in­di­vid­u­al­ity,” says Kerry.

She and Stephen have in­jected eclec­tic bolts of colour with me­men­tos, crafts and fur­nish­ings that are sen­ti­men­tal and cher­ished. The re­sult of a life­time of col­lect­ing, the house is in­fused with pe­ri­ods and styles that criss-cross 70s ce­ram­ics, 80s fur­ni­ture, Scan­di­na­vian and Ital­ian glass­ware, vin­tage rugs found in Mykonos, faded Moroc­can fabrics and fam­ily totem weav­ings.

Now the cou­ple are em­bark­ing on another per­sonal pro­ject. So how sad was it to say good­bye? “For the rst six months I was dev­as­tated,” says Kerry. “But then I thought, the per­son who bought this house is be­side her­self with joy, it’s the house of her dreams. I love this house, but when some­body comes along who loves it as much as we did you get a sec­ond wind. I’m look­ing for­ward to the next one. I’ve al­ready made up my mind how it’s go­ing to be.”

INSIDE STORY

THE AR­CHI­TECT OWN­ERS OF THIS PROP­ERTY FO­CUSED ON CRE­AT­ING BEAU­TI­FUL TIME­LESS SPA­CES BE­HIND ITS HER­ITAGE FA­CADE.

This page A K.P.D.O. up­hol­stered bed sits on a vin­tage Cadrys rug in the main bed­room. Vi­tra poufs. A Ya­m­agiwa ‘K-Se­ries’ lamp by Shiro Ku­ra­mata sits on a Poltrona Frau bed­side ta­ble. A black Ja­pan tim­ber ve­neer join­ery unit holds Scan­di­na­vian and Ital­ian glass­ware. A Flos ‘Snoopy’ lamp sits on a B&B Italia side­board. Op­po­site page, from top Look­ing down on the en­trance court­yard. In the bath­room is an Agape ‘Fusilli’ mir­ror.

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