Architects designing a contemporary home for a downsizing couple in Caulfield chose a material palette of brick, concrete and aluminium with stunning results.

Designed by Avi Milder Architects, Caulfield House is a contemporary home designed for a downsizing couple who didn’t want to move to an apartment. Instead, the couple sought a low maintenance, easy living ‘forever’ home where they could readily entertain and have the flexibility for family or guests to stay over – in an almost independent space.

The architects’ thoughtful design has been able to effectively meet the brief, with the three-bedroom home set around a north-facing courtyard that allows sufficient privacy to the couple. The lower level consists of a light-filled, open plan kitchen, living and dining room, along with a master bedroom, complete with ensuite and study, which can be sealed off from the living area by a sliding door, and delivers everything the owners need for a comfortable lifestyle.

A fairly well concealed stairwell off the hall leads to the top floor, which will serve as an exclusive space for grandchildren or other visitors, and consists of two bedrooms, a TV room, bathroom and separate WC.

“We designed this as a courtyard house. It faces north so everything hangs around the courtyard, giving the owners privacy. And we put the extra bedrooms and everything else you’re not using on a daily basis upstairs, so they’re out of the way,” explains Avi Milder Architects director Avi Milder.

Milder combined the efficient design with a carefully chosen material palette consisting of Petersen bricks, concrete and aluminium that looks remarkably like copper – with outstanding results.

“We knew we wanted a contemporary home, so face bricks were a definite. The Petersen D55 and K55 bricks are just fantastic. They’re among the best looking bricks on the market at the moment. And using the combination of the two sizes means that you use the same materials to get that different finish on the walls, and they look fabulous,” Milder said.

Using a combination of the K55 and D55 bricks meant working alongside the builders, Omnicon Constructions to get the desired results. “We wanted to make sure it looked just right so we made up some samples to work out the size of the joint, and to see whether they would be raked or flush,” Milder explained.

A slightly raked joint has produced a beautifully textured façade that combines well with the concrete and aluminium, each complementing, yet also contrasting with the other to create a stunning design outcome. While the Petersen bricks have been used on the façade, the concrete and aluminium have been used inside as well for a more polished, contemporary look.

The architects have successfully created a spacious and modern, yet suitably compact home that will age even more beautifully over time.

Photography: Simon Milder Photography