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Canterbury Road Residence, Toorak

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.

While the tonal variation in the natural stone across the scale of the building has a strong presence, the lavastone used on the building is derived from a similar volcanic process as the bluestone used in Melbourne’s streets so it sits comfortably in the context. The fine flush glazing details and mirrored glass reflects the surrounds to emphasized solidity of the stone counterpart.

Situated along a busy street, the façade presents an outward face, yet the interior spaces are unexpectedly private and inward looking. The mirrored glass protects the occupants from overlooking aspect from neighbours without need for shutters. The stonework is evident in many sightlines through the house and intimate planted courtyards are scattered throughout including a fish pond at the entry and a planted terrace adjacent to the master ensuite. Building on a more textural experience, the interior spaces use render, travertine and dark timber which are highlighted by the natural lighting from courtyards and skylights.

The smaller urban block, incorporates a dense, uncompromised program to accommodate a growing family including food storeroom to hang traditional salami, an elevator to accommodate a disabled relative and a terrace with pool and BBQ.