Architecture studio Herbert & Howes chose a well-considered material palette of brick, steel and render to balance the heritage setting of the neighbourhood with the modernity of the home.

Designed as a light-filled energy-efficient home in the Melbourne suburb of Deepdene, the four-bedroom Sunset House will serve its owners well into the future. The new home not only sits comfortably within its heritage context but also presents a thoroughly modern and welcome presence on its generous corner block.

The stunning feature brickwork is composed of a restrained grey palette of handcrafted Petersen D91 bricks, which combined with black steel provides a crisp and contrasting accent, all offset by a simple grey render.

The house also uses landscapes within the architecture – a signature feature of Herbert & Howes’ design thinking – with the selected plantings providing a vibrant contrast to the exterior palette, and changing to spectacular effect across seasons.

Herbert & Howes owner Matt Herbert says, “Our landscapes are integral to our architecture, and we love the way the vegetation contrasts against a grey colour palette, with the black trim providing the accent.”

The view from the front is particularly impressive, thanks to the three generous gables that are a welcome addition to the streetscape, as they warmly greet passers-by and celebrate the beauty of the handmade Petersen D91 bricks.

“There is nothing quite like the organic nature of Petersen bricks. We have used them a number of times before and love their irregular size. The uneven surfaces create a tactile surface that is unmatched,” comments Herbert.

The design brief sought copious amounts of natural light inside the house as well as internal and external entertaining areas. Both the requirements were met by the north facing garden, which has a pool that can be seen from almost every room in the home, while still remaining private from the outside world.

The owners moved into their new home just ahead of Christmas last year. Just in time too – as it turned out – with this year’s pandemic providing the family a welcome and comfortable sanctuary during the lockdown.