Part 1 – Malvern House by Nicholas Day

During the holidays Slow Home will be re-running archived content,  we will return in 2010 with new episodes.

  • John Y

    I think my favorite thing in this house is the great connection between the family room and the outside. That’s something I’ve been trying to bring into my own house (albeit on a smaller scale); it can really make the back patio or pool feel like part of the house, instead of being separate from it.

  • James Scott

    I agree with John Y regarding the connection to the outdoor spaces. Adopting this to many of the smaller plans we see can make all the difference.

    This is exactly what I want. Maybe if I call one of those home makeover shows. “Hello, is Mike Holmes there?”

  • Cat

    John, is it possible to post the floor plans?

  • Anonymous

    I like the underground garage. Even if the owners do not have cars to fill it up, it will be a cool place to store something, or floor hockey, anyone?

    I also like the front study. If this home is owned by a person who works there and has clients over, this room looks to be an ideal size in an ideal location–facing the street on a level all its own.
    The street exposure with the wide walkway and staircase leading up to the door would also be ideal for a home-based business situation.

    Thirdly, I like the laundry room’s door leading to the outside. It seems to show that even the wealthy in Australia hang their laundry outdoors. Now there’s a progressive idea.

  • Deborah McP

    Perhaps as the cost of land skyrockets within city limits, underground garages will catch on more and more. In fact, going underground would solve a shared driveway design problem I’m facing right now. Would it be an economically feasible solution? I don’t know yet.

    I’m looking forward to seeing photos tomorrow. Where’s north, please?

  • Brad W

    “Less is more” – Mies van der Rohe would be proud…

    The street elevation, the use of glass, the clean, simple lines and the interaction with the site are all positive attributes yet I am left cold by this house.

  • Volker

    Nice layout, actually a lot of things that come up during our design projects are done here in a nice manner. It seems a little oversized to me – The bedroom windows might have a free view due to that fact that this house is much taller than the neighboring houses. Looking at the house on the right hand side – they might atually end up looking at the AC on the roof – hopefully not hearing it all the time.
    I like the straight layout of the place – the corridor/stairs on one side, the rooms on the other side.
    Looking forward to see more pictures… more images.

  • Cat


    I did find a link to the floor plans:

    Also found that north is the pool side. Front door faces south.

    This reminds me of a traditional split-level house turned sideways. The split-level is one way to minimize the garage. This house has a super-sized garage, but I guess this is a
    super-sized house.

    I may be to accustomed to looking at what’s wrong, but I keep seeing the same things: too much wasted space. A formal living and dining area plus the study plus the family room plus the cinema hall and gym in the basement? Seems like a very long walk from the master bed to the shower. I’d like to have a seen a bathroom or at least a powder room a little closer to the pool. The laundry room door is interesting — it must open onto a very small side yard with a bad view. And the laundry room is right next to the lift to help you get all those clothes up and down. I have to agree with Brad, I’m left cold.

  • MichaelG

    Wow, thanks for focusing on this one John! A great start to the morning. Go Aussie architects!

    If you check out part 2 of last weeks wwwth, I posted an image of the front of the house that also had the floorplan. As Cat said, the rear of the house faces north, so the family area and the master bath will get the best of the Aussie sun. The family area opening out onto the pool is also my ideal. Id love something like that, and done that well. I agree that the connection to the outdoor spaces, front and back, are the best aspects. The family bath is also pretty much perfect, and floor hockey sounds pretty good! Yeah, its a huge house, and the scale, and the fittings and fixtures (I think half a forest was used for the floors!) contradicts what slow home means to some people, but the overall intentions of this house that are definately slow home, just on a scale out of reach to most of us. You cant argue that its not simple, light and open. Like learning from a Michelin stared chef (great analogy) there is something to learn from this house too.

    A note on topography, google maps has street view for Melbourne. When they took the images of the street that this house is on, the block was a cleared building site. You can see that it slopes down from the street. So only the front of this house would be high, the rest of the house grades down.

  • Terri

    I’m the “Anonymous” above, sorry (again).
    Thank you, Cat, for giving the link to the other images of this home. The interior space is larger and brighter than I imagined–almost makes the exterior spaces look rather dwarfed in comparison. Obviously the amount of movement people will exert to go throughout the levels of this house will be considerably more than any they’ll need to navigate the outdoors. It is a world unto itself. A very pristine, uncluttered and spacious world.