Krause bricks from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd were chosen for the façade of a newly built home in Malvern to add character to the building.

Merion Properties director Jason Perry, who had recently completed work on his new home in Malvern, decided to acquire the block adjoining his property when it became available. The extra space would allow him to preserve the views on his northern boundary, extend his backyard and, most importantly, provide a new home for his mother in her twilight years.

“With the help of my fellow director, Martyn Toogood, we built a three bedroom double storey house on the front section of the block, with common stairs at the back where the kids can walk up and down, and Mum can come in to our house any time she wants to. That was the main objective. The whole idea was to create a great flow between our two houses, and keep it very modern. Our house is square so we wanted it like that as well,” Perry explained.

Joel Lava, director at Design Worx Architects provided additional creative input for the new home. Complementing the main house, the new home for Perry’s mother has plenty of character and a strong street presence. However, there were several challenges involved in building on the narrow, sloping block and creating a single level living platform.

“We had to work with the narrowness of the site but give it some street presence, so we emphasised the vertical aspect of the building to create that significant form from the street view. We worked with the slope of the land and lifted the building up from the front of the street, so once Jason’s Mum was in the house she had single level living. She can go into her backyard with no steps, and get back down to the front with no steps in the driveway,” Lava explained.

Bricks are the hero of the materials palette chosen by Perry and Lava for the new home. Looking for a 50mm brick, which is very rarely manufactured, they came to Robertson’s showroom in Cremorne.

“Very few people do the 50mm bricks now, especially in the colour that we wanted. We have a light cream colour on our home, and we wanted something that was sympathetic to that as well. We found that Krause bricks in Smoke Grey were the perfect fit,” Perry recalled.

Lava explained that they wanted the bricks to stand out and be the main feature of the front façade. The Krause brick works well because it’s really unique in colour and texture. These bricks actually change colours throughout the day based on the sun and shade. Since the brick is randomly laid, it breaks up the solidness of the form as well.

Krause bricks feature on the external façade and staircase, and on the front fence. The other materials were chosen only to complement, not overtake the bricks. Zinc is the only other external material used on the façade in a fairly simple pattern.

Lava observes that the Krause bricks “bring a lot of character and texture to the building”. Without them, the building would have been fairly plain, he said.

While Perry and his Mum are extremely happy with the final outcome, the two houses have also drawn appreciation from locals.

“Ours is so modern that it did stand out and now having Mum’s there as well, it flows beautifully and has made a major impact on the street as well,” he concluded.

Photographer: Peter Bennetts