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Poetry Meets Pragmatism for a Family Home in Melbourne

Elisa Zagaria
·2 minuto per la lettura
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

From ELLE Decor

Can a home be both expressive and poetic without renouncing solid practicality? Caroline House is the living proof, designed by Australian studio Kennedy Nolan, where playful geometries and unusual volumes model a surprising space as the perfect backdrop for domestic life outside the box.

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

Situated in inner Melbourne, the home was born as an extension of a pre-existing Edwardian building that had undergone a radical overall restoration complete with an independent pavilion. To separate the two structures is a garden, outlined by a curved wall opening onto a row of arches: echoes of a dreamy classicism that reverberates through the spaces of the courtyard. Beyond their role as a bridge between the old house and its recent addition, this architectural element becomes the symbolic spirit and synthesis of the entire project.

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

But the most important element here is the pool, which deviates from standard dimensions, opting for a circular perimeter where the water is deep and dark. Placed just before the home’s facade, the body of water is almost like an invitation to dive headfirst into the search for a dramatic link between the liquid and solid form — between domestic spaces and their reflection, which isn’t a divided entity, but rather a vital mutating appendage of those same interiors. “These effects are deliberate and aspire to creating a setting which is poetic and evocative without being specific – an environment redolent of things our city and in our imagination,” explain the architects.

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

The original imprint of the courtyard continues further into the home, which is articulated across two levels, flaunting a layered and once again surprising appearance. This, of course, is owed to the meticulous care in selecting patterns and colors, like the green stairs challenging the nearby neutral palette, and the pairing of unique effects, like white bricks alternating with carbonized wood.

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

The curved wall dominating the garden gives body to the rooms with an unconventional aesthetic, where comfort and functionality are married with more extravagant touches, like porthole windows on the floor above. A curated contamination between old and new complete the picture, preserving the home’s historic memory while projecting it towards the future, through an engaging narrative reinventing the familiar horizon each and every day.

Photo credit: Derek Swalwell
Photo credit: Derek Swalwell

www.kennedynolan.com.au