This is a private house built in leafy suburb of Melbourne.
It is located in a heritage protection area where there is a building height control over the site. The site area is 808 sqm2 with a gentle slope up from the entry area. The street is on the south side of the site which gives the preferred orientation to the site – leaving the northern (sunny side to the private garden area. However, the slope site creates a serious problem, this house has been set to sit on the street level which has to be about one level down from its northern neighbour. The architect heads on with the problem by bringing the site down to street level to make it works with the height control. The house is about 1200sqm spread in three levels. The upper level is the private realm with master bedroom and a study, as well as the second bedroom. Ground floor is the family area where two major spaces are allocated at north and south side with distinctive gardens well connected to each of them. The south side is a Japanese style dry garden which provides a calm and ever changing landscape. The northern side which connected to the family room, a paved courtyard provides a family outdoor space with a reflective pool surrounded the side. The 8 metres high garden wall makes the private garden just like a large private room without a roof. It becomes the focus point for the informal living area. The family room is joined with an open western kitchen while a fully concealed Chinese kitchen just behind the western one to provide the flexibility to have both style of cooking to meet the family needs.
The entry area is arguably the highlight of the project. It has a double volume space to provide weather protection extended into the centre of the house to create a wow factor to link formal/informal living area, upstairs and downstairs. Guest-family access/service access. A long bench acts as a focus point to offer sitting, as well as link the skylit stairwell to upstairs.
The basement accommodates 5 cars accessed by car-lift. This is the first-of-its-kind passenger car lift which the driver in the car does not required to get out of the car while it goes up or down. The basement has a gym with shower and a bar and also a guest room which can access from the sunken garden without going through the house itself. A climate controlled wine cellar fully lined with timber can storage over 4,000 bottles of wine.
The architect has source the material for the house over the whole world. The full length plank floor boards are made in demark with the material from black forest in Germany. It takes 10 months from harvest the timber to have the floor boards delivered to Australia. This particular floor boards is as long as 15m with concealed fixing. There is also hydraulic heating underneath the timber floor. The stone slabs are specially made for the project in Brazil. All the glass doors are custom-made in Switzerland. All the joinery and furniture are custom-made in Australia or in Italy.
The landscape was designed and built by Japanese landscaper Moto who is the third generation of landscaper who hones his skill from very young age with his grandfather.
The lighting of the project needs special mention that transform the house into different mood when the sun goes down.
The Executive architect is Rex Lin who devoted 3 years of full time work to this project from tendering to contracting.
Design architect: Greg Gong. Gong gained his bachelor and master’s degree in architecture in China. He came to Australia in the early 1990s and has ever since worked in Australia. He has produced some top residential projects won prestigious design awards and widely published around the world. He also taught in the University of Melbourne. He is a director of Denton Corker Marshall, a world renowned architect practice.
Executive architect: Rex Li. Lin was graduated from the University of Melbourne. He worked both in Australia and Japan. He has extensive experience in delivery complex residential project as well as industrial design.