A pure expression of scale, proportion and light, Grange Residence by Conrad Architects is a generous family sanctuary in Toorak, with breath-taking views of Melbourne’s city skyline.
Sharing Conrad Architects affinity for enduring architectural principles, homeowner and interior designer, Lauren Tarrant, approached the studio to design a timeless residence with equal emphasis on street presence and city vistas. Council siting regulations dictated unique façade heights along each boundary, driving Conrad Architects to pursue a split form of minimalist stone blocks. Each volume is carefully incised with door and window openings, merging deep reveals and chamfered window heads to emphasise a formal arrangement of sleek, vertical proportions.
Split across four levels to navigate the expansive, sloping site, the layout is oriented by a central axis and vertical stairwell, establishing an intuitive and rhythmic journey throughout. “Much of the planning was dictated by the topography, yet we sought to accentuate the experience of entering the house, moving through it, and the view being revealed,” muses architect, Paul Conrad. The ambition to celebrate the journey through the home became a driving principle, guiding a nuanced approach to the sequencing of spaces.
Entry to the home is granted through a gatehouse from the street, where a walled garden creates a sense of privacy and seclusion. The home’s entry floor level is intentionally raised to generate a sense of ‘stepping up’ to a lookout. The acid-etched marble of the front façade flows into the interior, intuitively drawing movement through the home’s central spine, across the outdoor terrace and infinity-edge pool, where panoramic views across the city are spectacularly revealed.
The home’s four-storey staircase is conceived as a sculpted element suspended within the otherwise rectilinear arrangement of spaces. Finished in glistening polished plaster and with a skylight aperture above, the stair is a vehicle for light entry and vertical engagement, while its sinuous curves lend an artistic presence to each level.
Bedrooms are nestled below the entry level, creating a quiet sanctuary of private spaces, each opening to the landscape. The main bedroom suite is generous in proportion and finish, while the children’s’ rooms are complemented by an active rumpus room and sunken courtyard to socialise and play. Ancillary spaces, such as a gym, steam room and cellar, are tucked into the basement level, while the rooftop contains a spacious office and living area extending to an outdoor terrace.
Grounded in the values of contemporary design, Grange Residence demonstrates a commitment to the definitive architectural principles of space, light and proportion. The result is one that emanates an overall feeling of clarity and composure — a home that enhances the life of the growing family who reside within its walls.