The eye-catching Gryphon House in Elwood is up for grabs
BEHIND a red brick Edwardian facade a mythical beast lies dormant in Elwood.
The Gryphon House at 21-23 Thackeray St is unlike anything else on the streets of Melbourne — so much so it has been protected by the City of Port Phillip.
Architect Simon Thornton designed the environmentally-sustainable five-bedroom abode about 10 years ago and said the idea came in the middle of the night.
“The original owners were people who were really into their house expressing something about fantasy and imagination and that addressed the inner child that’s within all of us,” Mr Thornton said. “And in addition to that, something that would be appealing to children because they had foster children who they wanted to provide an environment for. That’s the ground they set.
“The brief resulted in an extension that incorporated a lion’s tail shaped chimney, solar panels resembling eagle feathers and a top floor meditation space in the shape of the beast’s head.
“We tried to allocate rooms into the old house that did not depend so much on sunshine or flow of space.
“So in that area there’s an office, a music room, two bathrooms and a bedroom, which also served as a home theatre room.”
The modern part of the house focuses on free-flowing living, with expansive light-filled living and dining zones and the kitchen.
There’s also a tranquil outdoor space centred around a pond.
Solar power, hydronic heating and water tanks are eco-friendly inclusions.
Mr Thornton said the property’s location just steps from the beach helped inspire the design.
“I think the location almost gave permission for that kind of architecture because it’s just a few streets from St Kilda, which has a beach vibe and touristy, alternative culture feeling,” he said.