Like a naturally occurring trilithon found in rock formations, the Canterbury Road Residence is made up of three simple structures, clad in rough lavastone stacked to form a contemplative passageway. The separation between the forms is made apparent as though they are three large boulders leaning on one another. The organic nature of the hand laid stone walls draws one from the street into the heart of the house; the upper level forms the lentil over the entry.
Rose Street Residence is a two story Victorian terrace house located on a premium street in Armadale. Typical of a building of its vintage, it has previously undergone a series of misguided building works and has been built from the ground up to create a new built form. A single level black painted brick extension is added to take advantage of the rear north orientation. In the extension, large expanses contrast with the divided room-like nature of the building at the front. The success of these renovations is linked to making the original building function like a new building while integrating the period aspect of the building with new construction works.
With an unassuming single-fronted terrace house as the facade, Lewisham Road Residence is an unexpected restoration and extension for a couple with a keen interest in modern architecture. Discretely tucked behind the original structure, the sharp, clean-lines of the addition create a clear contrast between old and new. This articulation is carried into the interiors retaining a hint of the original details at the front and creating a new vernacular at the back with an open layout and fine detailing.
Our design response for the East Melbourne Development is fundamentally a response to the surrounding area, embracing the heritage aspect of the site. It breaks down and reinterprets the components of a traditional Victorian house like those that line street – using the iconic front terrace, cornice, balcony, balustrade and side walls. With the same formality and modularity, the larger building is articulated so that the structure appears as a series of attached 4 story structures harking back to the brownstones of New York and the Victorian row houses in London, each with a subtle sense of individuality.
Maleela Avenue Residence is a renovation and extension of a grand 1930’s home for a large family considering the dynamics of how the family will change over time. The layout rationalises the maze of rooms typical in older buildings to spaces that can be used from childhood to early adulthood. The proportions are generous in keeping with the formality of the original building. The extension is a traditional colonnade with irregular shaped concrete columns and large glazing allowing the occupant to see through the entry all the way through the house to the formal gardens at the rear. The elevated orientation of new upper level areas capitalise on the view above the surround house to views beyond.
The approach for the renovation and extension of the Hopetoun Road Residence is to retain the existing structure as an anchoring element, adding a series of pavilions underneath a floating copper roofline that wraps around the original building. Embracing the client’s desire to maintain a fairly conventional residential structure, the design strengthens the form by creating a gable façade at the front and back with a clearly defined outline. Clad in polished grey render, the gables emphasize solidity and give the house a re-established sense of history and permanence. In contrast the extensions, composed as ribbons of copper wrapping around the solid structure, sit softly above recessed glazed pavilions.
Commissioned in 2014 by a Swiss national who saw B.E Architecture’s work while on holiday in Australia, the project is renovation and extension to al Swiss chalet. The proposal, is to extend, modernize and upgrade the existing building in Chernex. A significant portion of the brief is to rearrange internal rooms to capture surrounding views of the lake. Externally, painted rendered brick exterior is replaced with a new cladding of aluminium plate. The building is currently underway and will be completed in 2015.
Hopetoun Avenue, is a renovation and extension to a period home in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse. As an intentional point of difference to the solidity of the existing sandstone house, the new addition is a light intervention that emerges from the canopy of an existing mature lemon-scented gum tree. The design integrates the established tree allowing it to remain the dominate feature on the site. Literally built around the trunk, the substantial structure is made from suspended off form concrete with solid timber infills suspended over the roots of the ancient tree. The roof of the house intersects with the tree so that the upper level sits in the branches overlooking views to the Sydney Harbour.
A stacked rectilinear form, Bass Street Residence uses a series of subtly angled walls in opposing directions so the building composition creates a slight sense of tension between the property’s two key outlooks to distant water views at the front and sculptural trees at the back. The vertical striping in the timber cladding creates an understated illusion expressing differences in the shifting planes and adding depth to the sharp angular shadow lines. The space between the surfaces forms an irregular angled soffit using finely detailed slices of timber cladding so that all surfaces are covered in timber, giving a singularity to the materiality throughout the project.
A traditional Victorian home in Middle Park, Canterbury Road Residence is an opportunity to rethink a series of custom details to suit the context of the original house and the clients’ strong appreciation for the elements of decoration from that era. A custom door surround is made from colourful slices of agate, a new stair has a softly curving handrail, the large arch doors, coved cornices and custom carved ceiling details are reinterpreted to sit quietly in the Victorian home. Separated by an internal courtyard with a high planted wall, the back of the house is an informal livingroom and kitchen opening on to with a simple form creating a new studio/retreat along the laneway. The house is an expression of the clients who it was built for through a collaborative design process. Their open-mindedness and willingness to take a leap of faith where drawings could not tell the whole story were a real asset to the project.
Located within the context of a larger building, the design is one of a number of new galleries in the Gillman Barracks in Singapore. Rationalising both the existing structural grid and the overlay of the tenancy divisions, the area is broken down into a series of rooms consisting of two separate exhibition spaces, office, store and bar positioned around an outdoor terrace. In the warm climate, the rooms can be expanded and connected by opening onto the centrally located outdoor courtyard. Gillman Barracks Gallery is an unrealised project.
Neue Black is an innovate mortgage broker in South Yarra that wanted to create a distinct identity appealing to all generations. While quite refined, the office is more like a studio with a relaxed open plan. Use of an irregular patterned steel-framed glass wall provides separation whilst maintaining an open feel. The finishes and furnishings are an eclectic mix that is less about luxury and more about creating a memorable space. It is a comfortable setting suited to a financial company for today. Previously Mortgage Choice Workplace.
The renovation and extension to the double fronted Victorian house on Winter Street works with the separation between old and new, maintaining only three original masonry walls. The main entry is shifted along the side of the house where the two buildings meet. The original house is finished in reinterpreted detailing and the new extension uses modern lines and expansive glazing. The clients’ appreciation of chiaroscuro is seen in the dark elements such as the timber joinery, custom terrazzo flooring and black steel detailing in the light space. Working with the north facing orientation, a series of gardens including a central courtyard get bring light into the rear extension.
The Rathdowne development is 4 inner city town houses built situated over two oddly shaped pieces of land separated by a lane on a disused petrol station. It is an iconic form proposed in a significant heritage area of Carlton overlooking the Exhibition Gardens. The concept was for four separate volumes that create houses rather than apartments. The two story form of each house is interwoven with the next maximizing the site’s triangular shape. The proposed materials of patterned brick integrate the modern form into its 150 year old neighbours.
A conversion of an old fabric manufacturing factory in Collingwood, the first floor gallery space for gallerist Tristan Koenig is a raw, honest response that forms a supportive backdrop for the constantly evolving collections of vibrant, cutting-edge art. Glimpses of the original two-story roof truss are seen through the layout of the exhibitions spaces and offices. Cumbersome remnants from the factory setting have been repurposed to suit its new function such as the low concrete upstand that has been converted into a deep bench-like seating used for openings and parties.
A response to a competition for the design of a world-class library experience in Sydney’s Greensquare, the proposal looks at the library’s potential to serve the community as a place to gather. The building is a simple in form, in white concrete and subtly coloured glass, that will as a contrast to its surrounding. It is adaptable and agile and designed to host activities day or night and all year round. Both the library and the plaza are designed to be a multi-sensory activity hub with an integrated, engaging arts program and interactive technology throughout.
The Park Street House uncovers a new life for the traditional period house, creating a family home for three generations of inhabitants. The design reinterprets traditional elements to reveal the legacy of time. The façade is uncovered to expose the original ornate concrete and brick work as well as noticeable patches to show the building’s history. The interiors are characterised by a reduced ornamentation, referencing the grandiose qualities of the original structure. Every surface is treated with upgraded finishes including wood panelling and extensive joinery. Honest materiality and quality craftsmanship to tell the story of the past whilst supporting the modern purpose.
The subtle, stacked limestone house is a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional building. The design responds to the clients’ brief for a new home with a sense of establishment. Distinguishing the two storey main house from the modern single level extensions employs a zoned planning strategy creating a feeling of hierarchy throughout. The front house embraces the smaller proportions of traditional rooms to create intimate spaces and the detailing draws from the decorative techniques and craftsmanship from that era. In contrast, the extended zones are characterised by a dark bronzed metal cladding, open layouts and expansive glazing.
Hansens Lane Residence is designed to fit quietly in the existing vegetation on the foreshore of Balnarring Beach. The two story structure is clad externally with painted timber that has the look of the beach houses that typify the area. The interior is characterised by a painted timber ceiling that runs up the vaulted roofline as both a decorative and hardwearing material that relates to the external cladding. The planning of the house moves the living and kitchen areas to the top floor opening onto expansive rooftop pergolas that take advantage of the beach vistas.
Located in Elsternwick, the home is a substantial alteration and addition to an existing Edwardian house. The bulk of the existing house has been retained and restored in a way that is sympathetic to the history of the house by making evident what is original and what is new. The extended section is an L-shaped kitchen, living, dining and covered outdoor space framed by an extended roofline like a boxed window looking into a harmonious space of family living. The covered patio is a highly purposeful outdoor room with a fireplace, appropriate for year-round use.
Café Latte and owner, Luca Lorusso are an icon in the Hawksburn Village shopping precinct. At the heart of the design for Café Latte was the rigorous study of the existing restaurant and what made it successful in the first place. In doing this the design was not a grand architectural intervention; but a considered, in-detail response to the cultural milieu that was Café Latte.That focuses on an array of eclectic and hand crafted items. Within the same building envelope, the redesign increased capacity and updated the shopfront.
Elgin Street Apartments is a proposed development of an inner city petrol station into a multi-use building including office tenancies and residential apartments. Designed to be a dynamic, iconic building for the Carlton neighbourhood, the design is centred on a black, moulded exo-skeleton that clips together like armour around an aggressive white tile under structure. The complete proposal was commissioned by a client, however the building is unrealised.
The house on Cassell Street is referential of an ancient Byzantine building. The strong rectilinear form, made from natural stone, has a quality of looking older than it is – as though it could have been standing in the same place unchanged for a hundred years or existed in another world all together. Positioned on a corner block, the façade uses bespoke materials on the upper level appropriate for its high visibility from the street. The subtle bandings of travertine is made up from 10 different sized slabs of stone hand selected from opposite sides of the same quarry to produce two distinct tones.
The McIlwrick Street Residences are a two-residence development located on a what was previously a single residential block in Windsor. Like an old European village, the development is a small cluster of buildings you can see through and walk between such that the significant addition feels as though it could have always been there. A series of reduced forms with deep-set window reveals are made in flush struck brickwork and black steel detailing responding to materiality of the neighbouring laneway. Built more like early Victorian Australian architecture, it is a quiet integration made from solid materials and time-honoured craftsmanship not typically used in modern developments. Internally, each residence has its own materials palette and sense of identity, each with skylighting and private outdoor terraces.
Located in the garden precinct, 20 Walsh Street is a proposed multi residential building consisting of twelve apartments. The primary objective was to create a new building with modern amenities to sit comfortably in the existing streetscape. Respecting the rich architectural history that has set the tone of the neighbourhood, a straight-forward structure is made from the singular use of white insitu concrete. There is a logical rhythm, akin to a Sol Lewitt sculpture, resulting in a distinct modernist feel. Differentiating it from a single residence, the glazing is a subtle coloured tint different from the usual glass wall feel associated with high rise structures.
Located on a large parcel of land in the middle of Albert Park, the Kerferd Road Residence is a substantial renovation and extension to an unassuming double fronted Victorian home. The extension is based on the stepping used at the top like buildings from Sydney in 1920’s and 1930’s. The rendered form is designed to complement an extensive garden by Fiona Brockhoff Landscape Design. Decorative detailing was reduced or removed and replaced with a continuous version of the curved plaster cornices by B.E Architecture. The quiet details and restrained material palette is profoundly subtle so that it is not immediately noticed but rather is discovered gradually and leaves a strong impression.
Positioned on a triangular block in the central shopping area in North Fitzroy, the client wanted to use the site for a carwash facility and came to us to design a structure that sits appropriately within the heritage context. A triangulated saw tooth building typology was conceived for the site which references the original factories in the area. The saw tooth roof integrated with the triangular site and combined with a single glass façade created an interesting reference to both the original neighbourhood and the retail use. Drivers would enter one end and exit out the other. The property has been acquired by local council and has not yet been realised.
Walsh Street Apartments is a boutique development that has the scale and appearance of a single residence. The owners are one of two: not one of forty. Externally, each residence is given a unique identity with their own unique cladding and within a high level of privacy creates further separation. Both apartments provide generous space, natural lighting and bespoke detailing that is more in line with luxury houses than apartments. A handmade quality is evident in upgraded custom details, such as the steel stair rail that curves to the palm of the hand as well as the materials in refined stone and timber.
The Sorman Residence is one of four residence completed on Tivoli Road in a similar timeframe. It is an existing 1880’s double fronted Victorian building. As is often the case with older homes, the building required extensive renovation and an addition to suit the needs of a modern family. The new building takes advantage of the steep sloping site so that the additional areas are plotted up the hill, ending at the garage. While keeping the spaces open, each level contains defined functions stepping between them. The various levels provide different spatial relationships and sightlines to the courtyard as you circulate through the building.
With walls made up entirely of glazing or mirrors, the design for a fitout in rehabilitation gymnasium is focused on the treatment of the floor and walls. In order to make a big impact in the limited areas, the floor uses a bold, colourful application of the rubberised floor coating in diagonal striping that references art installations by Jim Lambie and Richard Woods. On the ceiling, stripes of lighting have been suspended in the opposite diagonal direction.
Sensitivity to history was the approach to the renovation and extension of the house in Richmond, once home to Bishop Docker. Little of the existing house remained fit for use besides external walls; therefore the focus was on recapturing the feeling of a traditional Victorian residence in a way that was applicable to its modern context. Contemporary reinterpretation of original details such as the plaster cast coved ceilings and restoration of the turned timber stair rail capture the essence of an older building. The substantial, yet subtle addition at the rear is a backdrop for its Victorian counterpart. The use of light, traditional materials and expansive glazing recedes to allow the historic house to leave a more lasting impression.
Built on a long, narrow site situated near the railway line, the design for Evelina Road Residence is a considered design that protects the house from public view from both the street in the front and the train in the back. The single story residence is inward-facing, using stucco and render finishes. Progressive sound insulation is used to mitigating acoustic quality of the proximity to the train.
Precision medical suites is a branded interior fitout for a medical company that offers a welcome surprise to a typically unconsidered experience. The design uses simplicity with a couple selective details to activate the space. The pale green walls and curved slatted timber reception desk as well as lower lighting and wall sconces make the space more intimate and memorable.
An additional pool and outdoor entertainment area has been designed to complement the original Meakins Road Residence, a project completed by B.E Architecture 10 years earlier. Using walls that intersect the slope of the landscape in a similar way to the larger house, the pool pavilion is a structure in its own right. The large black steel and glass structure cantilevered form wraps around the outdoor pool terrace backed by a large stone wall creating a courtyard.
The design for the Edwards Residence is a conversion of two 1920’s apartments into a single family residence and centred around a large internal staircase. The building is a collection of crafted details and materiality referencing multiple styles of architecture to blur the distinction of time. A textured Irish stucco, arched entry door and timber covering unify the exterior. The light-hearted interiors are painted a pale blue with oiled solid oak floors and flower cornices that are a nod to the decorative style of the original building.
The Blake Street Residence investigates a typology of coastal architecture which responded primarily to the ruggedness of its Australian landscape setting. A massive Maffra stone podium made with rudimentary construction creates a solid connection to the ground. In contrast, the upper level in timber cladding is a lighter counterpart. Internally, the high ceilings follow the sloping roofline over a variety of multi-functional spaces with verdant outlooks.
Canterbury Road is a four story building consisting of separate apartments designed for two brothers. The clients responded to the proportions and formality of a classical colonnade. This was incorporated into the polished rendered structure that is used to create rationale for the stepping of the building that was required to meet sightline regulations. A clean-lined aesthetic is carried into the interior with white walls and thin steel details. Each apartment contains a high level of privacy that facilitates multi residential living.
Norman Avenue is an extensive rebuild and extension to a double-fronted Victorian terrace house in South Yarra. The renovated rear extension is accessed via a glazed link over a garden and water feature. The extension is a large chef’s kitchen, informal living room and dining room with additional bedroom accommodation upstairs.
The property at Seacombe Grove was positioned with a continuous green space surrounding the building rather than just a front or back garden. Surrounded on all sides with fencing, the interior spaces use floor to ceiling glazing to create picturesque planted views, bringing the outdoors in. The exposure to the exterior influenced that the layout of the interior spaces in two zones to best use the natural elements: day/summer zone and night/winter zone. Casual living areas integrated with the pool, summer areas, face north and west to take advantage of the daytime sun.
Sited above an existing restaurant and lounge at the top end of town, the Siglo bar and terrace reveals one of Melbourne’s best vistas. Neighbouring the Princess Theatre, the site overlooks Parliament House and its gardens. The small lantern-like structure rests lightly and respectfully above Spring Street. In harmony with its surrounds Siglo exudes a timeless quality; a relaxed setting to enjoy a wine with the view. Operable windows, in a mix of clear and green glass referencing wine bottles, are capable of coping with Melbourne’s unpredictable weather with ease. The glasshouse structure was prefabricated and installed quickly onsite navigating the complexities of building above a major city street.
Fawkner Street Residence is a renovation and extension to a double-fronted single level terrace residence in South Yarra. Removing elements of a 1980’s renovation, the building is brought back to its shell and the original house was finished with B.E Architecture’s own interpretation of period detailing. The main focus is around the large kitchen extension into the new garden. The unused laneway was converted into a Japanese onsen with a circular stillwater bath and steamroom.
The Cristopoulous residence, created for a leading Melbourne restaurateur, was the complete renovation of an interesting period home situated high on a hill in South Yarra. The client wanted to incorporate many architectural salvage pieces he had collected from overseas while making a very strong architectural intervention with the existing structure.
Crown Street Residence is a renovation and extension to a two story terrace in Surry Hills, Sydney. The entry to the house takes advantage of the buildings high positioning above the street to create a meandering path for the entry sequence, playing with different levels and walling as visitor moves across and up the site to reach the front door. The original structure was substantially rebuilt to suit it modern function.
After 10 years of working in Melbourne’s CBD, the B.E Architecture Workplace is a renovation to an existing office space in Prahran. The layout is updated to open plan workstations as well as a conference room and tea room that doubles as a second conference room when needed. The traditional suspended ceilings are removed to expose the concrete structure above. The resulting high ceilings and large walls allow the B.E Architecture art collection to be displayed including works by Brook Andrew, David Noonan, Mike Parr, Hany Armanious, Bill Henson and Chuck Close.
Loving the age and patina of the Georgian building in South Melbourne, the client for Anderson Street Residence wanted a response that was conscious of the treading lightly through the renovation. Years of paint were stripped off the building and interior elements, such as the fire place and stair rail, in a careful fashion that made sure that the passage of time was evident throughout the building. A new curved entrance and gate was added in keeping with the style of the older looking house. Original hand painted wallcoverings were selected in keeping with what would have been there before.
The renovation on Darling Street in South Yarra was for the Ippoliti / Burmeister family. The emphasis on the period fabric of the house was the main focus of the client. The imposing terrace on Darling Street was fully modernized, recreating the original period detailing in key areas while creating new dynamic adjoining areas including a pool and entertaining pergola at the rear.
A simple extension to a post-war building in Prahran, the Osbourne Street Residence is a very modern church-like timber structure abutting the original house. The blunt Dutch gable form, often used by B.E Architecture, is more reminiscent of European influences than the open gable forms that make up the area. The white timber follows the line of the gable into the interior lining along the pitched ceilings.
Park Place is one of a row of substantial Victorian terrace houses facing onto Fawkner Park. The houses layout is simplified through the renovation with a modern extension added to the Victorian structure. Hand polished white concrete floors are used inside and outside with oversized commercial glazing systems. Key doorways create site lines to the park from the rear extension.
The Flouch Apartment is a second floor renovation undertaken in an iconic, modern building on Clarendon Street in East Melbourne overlooking the Fitzroy Gardens. The 1960’s building was stripped down to the glass line and lift well core. The clients, moving from a larger property out of the city, spared no expense of the kitchen and bathroom fitouts, not wanting to compromise quality of life in the smaller, urban space. The project looked closely at the idea of a lifetime dwelling using forward-thinking design to incorporate conveniences that will not require the homeowner to move through life transitions.
Long Island Point Residence is a family home for one of B.E Architecture’s glazing contractors, located in a canal development on Patterson Lakes. Built with a finite budget, the top fineline render structure sits on a contrasting split-faced block podium. Using a substantial amount of glazing with an open plan, the house is connected with the waterway just outside the back door.
A renovation and extension to a 1950’s house owned a couple of Australian and Japanese descent, The Eyrie Residence was designed to marry the clients’ enjoyment of the character of the original building with their love of Japanese culture. The design response was a clean, black timber addition at the back of the house with a few black timber details at the front entry as well. Their heritage was represented in the communal family bath house and Tatami rooms, fitted to exact Japanese specifications. Thin tiles were created by cutting down typical tiles and applied with a banding technique like a traditional onsen.
Walsh Street [Mackay] Residence was a large 1920’s style house overlooking views to the water, built of solid brick with the grandeur of the time. Mitigating a series of prior renovations, the design for the addition restored the sense of the original building while being mostly modern and new. Surrounding the house is a series of landscaped terraces to navigate through the steeply falling slope down to the tennis court.
Half Moon Bay was a master plan and architecture proposal for a client looking to develop a large section of land into a resort overlooking Half Moon Bay for the overseas market. Like most resorts, the design is a series of stepped pools and waterways. The various buildings, including residential, hotel, hospitality and recreational facilities, are arranged in an almost haphazard layout based on sightlines and connected by diagonal stairs. Individual housing utilises the natural slope of the land to provide views for multiple buildings. The large site model was constructed to present to Georgio Armani for consideration for a branded hotel, a concept not yet done at that time. The design was not realised however the scheme received a rare planning permit to build on the foreshore.
The Judd Residence is a house overlooking a lake designed for local identity in Yarrawonga. The brick and insitu concrete construction appeal to the client’s attraction to European-style buildings and the sense of permanence that is imbued in them. The zinc-clad gable roof and deep set window reveals follow the traditions of an older style of architecture. A slow growing garden is implemented to slowly develop over time.
The house at 57 Tivoli Road, formally one of a series of attached row houses of disparate housing styles, forms a modern bookend to the procession of houses. The narrow, sloping, corner site presented the opportunity to build across the full width of the block through one singular architectural from. The exterior is clad in a custom engineered pattern of locally sourced bluestone; the interior in timber, a material favoured by the clients. The panelling includes an angular timber feature stair and bunk rooms for the client’s grandchildren, fashioned to reference train carriages.
The residence at 260 Dorcas Street in South Melbourne is modern, bronze tone extension down a rear laneway behind an original single fronted heritage building. There is a clear expressed distinction between the old and new components that make up the home in shape and materiality. While clean-lined and modern, the form of the extension is made with a simplified Dutch gable roofline that references an older style of architecture.
The renovation and extension of 262 Dorcas Street Residence is located behind a double fronted, single level Victorian heritage façade. A thin two level extension uses subtle level changes to hide the new fabric of the building from the street in South Melbourne. The positioning of the extension orients all new living and family spaces towards a large north facing backyard.
The country home in Mornington Peninsula is positioned on a steeply sloping sight that overlooks the surrounding farms to the ocean beyond. Rather than immediate access to views, there is a 5 m high rough stone wall cutting across the block as a barrier, giving little away on first impression. Once within the house, a composed delivery of views gradually reveals the vast landscape opening onto an isolated pool area. The house consists of three separate structures providing private zones to accommodate visitors. These are connected by glazed links and walkways covered in rough sawn cypress timber forming outdoor gathering spaces.
On the top of a rise overlooking 200 acres of land, the Government Road Residence is a four room house with a timber deck that wraps around below a large butterfly-like roof. A concrete and stone upstand, wide enough to sit on, surrounds the house giving it a feeling of protection and privacy. The radial cut yellow stringy bark cladding is a simple, honest material for a house in the country.
As the headquarters for a Singaporean shipping company, Wilson Street was designed to make best use of the narrow 5.5 metre wide site on an industrial street. The building façade is made from operable glass windows and an exoskeleton of Guinness-coloured concrete columns extending above the top level creating a glass covered rooftop garden. Floor plates are set back from the façade bringing in light and giving views up through all levels of the building. Staff and visitors are drawn up to the first level where office spaces are positioned above the street for an undisturbed working environment.
The Tivoli Place Apartments are designed behind an existing period home in South Yarra. Built over an underground car park, the building was designed around an exposed black steel portal frame. The steel supports expansive balconies for each apartment. The privacy screens beyond window planter boxes allow floor to ceiling windows in the densely built up residential area.
Located in an early modern 1960’s building, the Clarendon Street fitout was a top floor apartment overlooking views of the Fitzroy gardens towards the city. The building had single level apartments with concrete columns and a central lift core. The internal layout was completely restructured with an open plan, utilising the views and making the apartment relevant for modern living.
The Balnarring Road Residence was designed for a couple who moved from the city to the country to create a large olive plantation in a rural area. With passage through the olive orchard, the house is a large masonry building wrapped around a giant reflecting pond. Giving little away at first glance the house is a sequenced experience, entering through a high, textured masonry wall, walking past the reflecting pond and arriving into the living spaces where the house opens up to surrounding views. The simple, robust materiality of polished concrete floors and rendered brick is well suited to the rural location.
Located in 99 Spring street building, made famous for being home to names like Potter, Packer and Murdoch, the Davis Apartment was a refurbishment to an iconic 30 year old building with views overlooking Parliament House and the Treasury Building. All the structural walls were removed and the space was reinvented into a new living experience. A few unexpected glitches occurred with designs for custom furnishing that could not fit in the older style lifts.
Designed like the original stilt houses that typified Anglesea in the 1950’s, the Whitaker Residence is a timber beach house. The open sided building is located on the side of a hill so that the upstairs living spaces are passively cooled by the breezes at the higher elevation. Set in the gumtrees and beach flora, the weathered timber slats and muted paint colours sit quietly in the surrounding. The hard-wearing materials make the space easy to maintain through many beach visits.
The original Victorian terrace house on Beaconfield Parade was modified in previous renovations where the upstairs front wall was removed and replaced with glazing in a time before planning rules prevented such a thing. Readdressing the house, the original layout was modified moving the kitchen and living room upstairs to make best use of the resulting bay views. The interiors were updated and extensions to the rear first floor decking were incorporated in the new design to give the property quality outdoor living areas not usually associated with terrace houses.
Set on 100 acres in coastal Victoria, this site was bare of vegetation except for a 100-year-old row of Cypress trees. The design was based around a series of sunken walled courtyards to create immediately useable outdoor areas in the windswept environment. The extensive steel and timber exo-skeleton were designed in response to the traditional wrap-around veranda of the local farmhouses. The massive steel and timber portal frames capture and frame the rural pastoral views from within the building. The sleeping area with a library is separated from the main structure via man made waterscape between the buildings accessed by a suspended glazed walkway.
Designed for a Singaporean couple who wanted their home to reflect their heritage, Ross Street is based on a traditional style courtyard house. The front and back are intentionally austere and celebrate privacy created by the inward-facing design. Under a canopy of maple trees, the entrance is on the side of the building bringing visitors directly to the heart of the house. An open plan positions the living spaces around a central courtyard with a single Mount Fugi Cherry Tree, so that every space has outlooks and sightlines through the house. Natural render and unified use of concrete floors internally and externally provide an enduring materiality that gets better with the passage of time.
Dover Heights Residence is B.E Architecture’s first project in Sydney. Originally a single-story masonry building set on a steep road overlooking the ocean, the addition extends the narrow building to an additional level. In keeping with the style of 1930’s architecture in Sydney, it feels as though it always existed there. The finished natural concrete and render, are used to patina and become more textured over the years.
The clients for Richardson Street Residence wanted to adapt their existing small period terrace house in Albert Park to accommodate a growing family without wanting to move location or neighbourhood. The house was extended to include an additional level. A ceiling following the roofline creates unique spaces that open up the house to ample lighting. With careful use of space and an unexpected sense of playfulness, the house is small with a large sense of personality using exaggerated scale with colours and patterns.
Two houses above a shared basement, the Hanby Street Residences were developed by two clients to have separate homes that would be located close together on a single block. One larger house at the front and a smaller one at the rear, the design focused on creating houses that feel open from within yet private to the neighbouring house as well as the street.
Coventry Street is a mixed use building in South Melbourne that required a foyer to unify the different tenancies and give a more corporate branding to the building. The materials – timber, travertine, exposed concrete and black steel – were selected to give the building a feeling of time. The hard materials will gradually develop a natural patina to tell the story of the building and have relevance across time.
Located on the southern side of the street, the design flips the standard orientation so that the front of the house has a private external space more like a typical back yard. The entry of the house is shifted to the centre down the adjacent laneway keeping the front access private. Behind a high privacy fence, the front of the house is able to be opened up to make best use of the north facing aspect.
On a block of land totalling 80sqm located off a laneway, a house is built where there once was a series of back yards. Made with proportions more like a dwelling in Japan, the building is a series of rooms where it is essential that space is optimised. Like many buildings by B.E Architecture, the spaces feel large in comparison to the overall building footprint. The narrow double story building uses concrete for the exterior and as a finished surface in the interiors.
The St Edmonds Road Development is a mixed-use development within the walls of an old warehouse including commercial ground level and large two-level apartment above. Inspired by polychrome brickwork from religious buildings in Sienna, the addition is made from black and white brickwork in a stripped pattern. The nearly windowless façade is a reoccurring element in B.E Architecture’s work, keeping windows out of view and intentionally shifting towards more inward facing architecture with an innate sense of privacy.
Built off a suburban laneway in Prahran, the small masonry home is built into the ground to minimise impact on neighbouring gardens and nearby lemon-scented gum tree creating a distinct perspective from the building. The contemplative approach, passing the building and descending into the house to look out onto the lawn at eye level is an unexpected feature that makes you stop and consider the building. A quiet, yet strong response to the site, the design uses a perceived constraint as a special feature whilst maintaining high ceilings and meeting overlooking requirements.
With only one small window on the front façade, the architecture for Hawksburn Road Residence is an exploration of the notion of a sequenced arrival. The passageway into the house is sunken into the ground with a large bookshelf acting as a display gallery and reading nook in the sun. Open sightlines create a journey through the house including several purpose-built elements that respond to its use specific to the clients. There is a long suspended pond with plants and fish and custom-made saddle storage under the stair.
Wellington Street is an apartment complex designed for Frank Pty. Set in an infill site on a commercial strip in St. Kilda, the multi use development on Wellington Street is built as a live/work model from another era. The site consists of four working studios on the ground level with independent three storey dwellings above. A light well brings daylight into the centre of the development and the use of glass bricks provides filtered light for the inward facing units. The façade is setback from the street providing a private planted garden protected by a high fence. Along the front, the latin phrase “vertus per simplicitus”, meaning “virtue through simplicity”, is cast into the concrete to give the building an individual identity.
A house designed for one of Melbourne’s fashion retail identities. The infill house was one of B.E Architecture’s early studies of how to make use of smaller urban space so that the building feels open yet private. The project focused on getting light down into the building using a combination of floor to ceiling windows, skylighting and smaller internal courtyards so all the spaces were light-filled.
Nelson Street Apartments is a development of two, four-story apartments situated between two larger office buildings. The palette is refined to simplicity expressing oversized structural elements similar to contemporary architecture in Europe and Japan at the time. The compound-like building has an extensive wall garden on the first level to mitigate the proximity to the busy road and to bring the focus towards city views on higher levels.
During the rise in popularity of shopping centres over strip shopping in Melbourne, Men’s Mode was a contemporary design for a menswear chain appealing to a younger market. The design references the fashion retail shop from New York in the 1950’s. The nostalgia towards the 1950’s motifs and the optimism of their futuristic aesthetic from that era is envisioned in a modern context.
The Alfredson residence was designed for a couple downsizing from a larger family home to an inner city. The house was designed on land size of 105M2. The masonry structure was clad in render and stucco. The building’s facade was divided up into a series of slabs and planes giving the building a very ordered grid. The ground floor consists of a compact kitchen and a large living area looking onto a walled courtyard and water feature. The palette was oak and rough sawn bluestone. Apart from paving for city streets blue stone was generally unheard of as a feature material at that time.
Designed within the immediate period of the other residences on Canterbury Road as a series of new infill housing on the side of the light rail, 275 was a compact house where space was at a premium. Budget was a major factor in the project therefore the façade was made from a cost effective concrete block, often seen in 1960’s buildings. Using an uneven split-face, the block was carefully laid on its end with thin header courses every two rows making more an appearance of stone than a common inexpensive building material.
Designed for the building company Frank Pty, the two houses are a narrow infill in a new housing development along a lite rail in West St Kilda . The facades are made from wide solid planks of cedar that were milled for the job, specialist cedar windows and bluestone blocks that were quarried just outside of Melbourne. The early design of the pair includes many custom details that B.E Architecture still uses today.
The building is designed as a bookend for the neighbouring timber town houses. The structure is oversized timber with a compressed cement sheet cladding and a top layer of ‘Irish stucco’ which was applied within a grid of small S channels that were later corked creating the effect of massive stone tiles punctuated by handmade cedar windows with the same profile as its neighbours. The use of artisan finishes like stucco reflects B.E’s interest in older techniques and natural materials. Similar external detailing can be seen in the immediate surrounding federation period homes.
Designed in a series of infill residences for Frank Pty on Canterbury Road, #326A is set off from the main street. Cedar window frames tie the project into the neighbouring residences while the large cedar entry door and white stucco façade give it its own sense of identity. High landscaping utilises the irregular shaped site to add distinction and privacy to the property.
Located in an art deco apartment in St. Kilda, the Fitzroy Street Apartment was a conversion of an office suite into a residential apartment. The loft-like spaces were intersected with a series of oversized suspended screens made from white glass and timber to create separation. Built-in crafted detailing such as the small footstool to get over the high bath are referential of modernist architecture by Pierre Chareau.
After working together on Iguana Bar, the owners returned to B.E Architecture to develop a new fine dining experience for Carmines Restaurant on Chapel Street across from a favourite movie venue. With the feeling of an old European style dining room, it had a finely crafted timber bar and arrow head parquet flooring. Continuing the home-like feeling, the walls are lined with a collection of art nudes curated by B.E Architecture including various artists and mediums.
Leicester Street is a two unit site for designed for Frank Pty. utilizing an existing factory in the inner city suburb of Fitzroy in 1997. Both town houses are totally private, set back within the existing two storey brick walls of the factory to capitalize on the north facing aspect of the site. Each facade is a simple glazed steel cruciform structure in front of a two story void capitalizing on the northern orientation.
Iguana Bar was one of the first in a string of restaurants to emerge on Chapel Street in the early 1990’s. Designed to cater to a generation that was trading the nightclub scene for the social experience of fine dining. Both its tapas menu and the soaring timber clad ceilings were new to Melbourne. The space was casual and theatrical centered around a long bar with dark textured walls.