Fairfield Hacienda

A seemingly disparate collection of inspirations form the foundations of this Melbourne suburban home. Antony from MRTN Architects has drawn upon the architectural style of Marcel Breuer and the utilitarian philosophies of Paul Rudolph, along with his own love of ancient ruins and architectural experiences of travelling though Europe and South America to create a truly special family home.

Working with the client’s brief to create a family home that makes the most of the north facing aspect Antony challenged the traditional approach of large street facing windows that reduce the home owners privacy. Rather, he has designed an Australian hacienda. Not dissimilar to historical homes in southern Europe and Mexico this home has been designed around a front walled courtyard. The idea is that family life take place in this walled garden just as it would any other room in the house.

The courtyard perfectly captures the northern light and warmth and also acts as a privacy screen for the homeowners. The concrete block work creates a sense of permanence and security and the porphyry crazy paving adds depth to the colour palette. It’s intended that overtime this space change and grow with the family. The concrete walls should mark, the natural stone should wear and the garden should flourish.

From the courtyard northern light filters into the home and a stunning cedar ceiling reflects sunshine through the space. Polished concrete floors define family areas while a subtle shift to Abyss split stone flooring defines the more private bedrooms and bathrooms.

As is always the case in design it’s through challenging expectations and re-thinking the use of space to really capture the client’s brief that great results are born, and this family home is a perfect case in point.