The owners of a new contemporary home in the heart of Port Melbourne chose Petersen D91 bricks from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd purely for their textural beauty and tone.

Combining brick, glass and Colorbond roofing, the Esplanade House uses a simple, limited palette to achieve a stunning design outcome on the exceptionally tight site. Designed by the team at Mills Gorman Architects for a family of four, the light and spacious contemporary home features a flexible and highly functional layout with the main living spaces on the upper level overlooking the terraced garden and pool, and the ground floor housing two bedrooms, a bathroom, a family room and a kitchen, which opens into a rear garden.

The highly functional design maximises the practical use of every square inch of the home’s limited footprint, while ensuring light and amenity.

“We put a lot of effort into getting the planning right. We look at every space requirement objectively, work with what we’ve got, and prioritise our planning process. So, in the end, we have a building form that reflects the sun and the site and the views,” commented Mills Gorman director Peter Mills.

A pool atop the garage, backing onto the rear lane is Esplanade House’s most innovative feature, though it presented several challenges during construction for the builders, Clancy Constructions. The pool can be accessed from the parents’ retreat via a bridge and from the lower levels via the landscaped terraced garden beds that stretch all the way up to the pool’s edge. The garage is underneath the terrace, neatly tucked away under the pool.

The simple palette consisting of Petersen D91 bricks, glass and black Colorbond roofing and side walls with a standing seam brings this edgy, contemporary home to life. The owners, who saw the Petersen bricks elsewhere, fell in love with their textural beauty and tone, and wanted them for their own home.

Though this is the first time Mills Gorman has used Petersen bricks, they plan to use them in future projects.

“We are pretty wrapped in them; the Petersen bricks are wonderful. They’re such a beautiful brick and it adds an extra layer of quality to the whole building… The brick stands out because the Colorbond roofing and the side walls are black and the brick is a light grey and it has beautiful textures to it, so they go together beautifully,” says Mills.

The homeowners worked with the Mills Gorman team throughout the entire planning and build phase, right down to the plant selection for the garden. Needless to say, they are exceptionally happy with the end result, and have been enjoying their new home for some months now.

Photographer: Emily Bartlett Photography