When the Client, owners of a building and development business in Melbourne, approached Kennedy Nolan for a new house on the steep slopes of Mount Eagle, some of the opportunities were immediately evident. Superb, uninterrupted views to the north and east and a context of mature tree canopies on the large adjoining sites formed a beautiful backdrop while affording privacy to the house and garden. The relatively compact site was subdivided from the garden of a larger property. Consequently, it came with a covenant restricting the building envelope, ostensibly to preserve the park-like surrounds and privacy to adjoining gardens.
Strict controls on protecting existing trees and augmenting the forest-like canopy of the neighbourhood with new trees also had to be considered. The brief called for a four-bedroom house with study, playroom and gym, as well as a large garage. Consequently, the design process required a very hard-working plan and section. “The plan had to resolve conflicting demands of amenity, privacy and aspect, and the section had to facilitate an easy ascent and descent through the house and to visually and inherently connect the seven levels – to avoid a feeling of layers and make the vertical relationships as effortless as the horizontal connections,” explains the team at Kennedy Nolan. The result is unexpectedly medieval, a sense that there is always another thing around the corner or down a twist of stairs, and that at every turn there is a new spatial experience or an unexpected aspect.