the owners aren't Greek and yes, the house is at Macedon in Victoria.
While the exterior is a randomly formed mud brick dwelling with a metal
roof, the interior was designed by choosing a photo which the owners
had taken in a village on one of the Greek islands, depicting several
traditional houses, and using it as a starting point in a process of
dreaming up a house which is itself like a village. Each room represents
a house, so the parents and each of the children have a 'front door'
and window to their bedrooms.
is wetter than Greece so the whole 'village' is covered with a large
tent-like roof in corrugated steel, part of which is raised to allow
north sun to flood inside in winter, lighting up the stair and bringing
in the sun's warmth. The walls are made of mud bricks painted white,
and so the house has an abundance to thermal mass to store heat in winter
and coolness in summer.
you look there are interesting touches, such as a small door from one
of the children's bedrooms to a raised balcony above the laundry - an
ideal study nook from which to supervise the dinner preparations. The
Kitchen joinery has inlays of American Oak veneer in the shape of sea
birds, fish and seaweed, set in a background of Jarrah veneer.
parents' bedroom has a balcony overlooking the stair, and if you go
into the Ensuite Bathroom you will discover that the tiles in the shower
recess are in fact a map of the Greek Islands, with the towns marked
arrive at their bedroom door via a two metre long vault of mud bricks
can an architect justify designing in this picturesque and romantic
way? Simon Thornton argues that we live in an era of international travel
and that we are constantly bombarded by photographic images. So a design
approach which addresses these realities is more 'modern' than a design
which is based on the imagery of the Modern movement, which is now a
hundred years old!
architects are always going on about this theory or that. The important
question is whether the house is a delightful place to live, full of light
and colour, abounding in delightful nooks and crannies, sensuous to the
touch, cozy in winter, cool in summer, a pleasure for all ages to live
in and a joy for friends to visit.