Riverside home provides separate living options for parents and their teenage children

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On this two-level home, a modest street-side entry opens up to a central atrium and splayed wings that reach out towards individual water views

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Often it's the very constraints that bring out the best in architectural design. And for this riverside house by home designer Steve Gliosca there were many to consider.

"First of all, there was the tricky lie of the land – with the 40m-long site dropping by 7m towards the river," says Gliosca. "Second, the owners wanted to be able to live on just one level when they reached retirement. And third, the home had to offer separate living spaces for their two teenage daughters so they could live independently under the same roof.

"Other homeowner requests were for a passive solar design and the abundant use of stone inside and out."

In response, Gliosca created a sculptural, two-storey home that presents an understated, closed facade to guests approaching down the long 100m drive – effectively, limiting access to the river views until they enter the residence.

Entry is through a large pivot front door that opens to a double height atrium with a sculptural stair leading down to the lower levels. This large atrium, or void, separates the house neatly into two wings both upstairs and downstairs.


In terms of use, the home divides into four sections – the wings to left and right upstairs and the corresponding volumes downstairs. All four volumes are entered from the atrium via large wall openings that can be closed off by pocket doors.

To future-proof the home for the couple, all living can be on the upper floor. The wing to the left contains the garage, kitchen, dining area and family room. The run of rooms ends in a cantilevered deck that offers spectacular views of the river. In fact, the layout optimises views from further back, too, with the kitchen raised by a step from the dining area. This allows the chef to look over the living room furniture to the river views beyond while cooking.

The opposite wing on this upper level is home to the master suite. This includes a study and reading room at the street end, followed by the walk-in-wardrobe, large ensuite, the master bedroom and stacker doors opening to the deck beyond that. The ensuite is positioned internally, for quietness and privacy, while the owners can still appreciate the views by looking through the master bedroom to the water.

The two wings are slightly splayed, each training its views on a different yacht club on the opposite side of the river.

Downstairs, the left wing contains a second sitting room and guest suite while across the central circulation void there are the daughters' bedrooms and a retreat space. The inclusion of the extra sitting room makes this level self sufficient, too, apart from cooking needs. The left wing's outdoor room looks to the elegant garden terraces that step down to the river.

A strong palette of natural materials appropriate to the river setting is another feature of the home. The cool travertine facades wrap around as interior walls in the atrium – creating an indoor-outdoor feel. Timber on the floors and on the balcony ceiling was echoed in the built-in walnut cabinetry and door frames, both materials working well with the home's prominent steelwork.

First published date: 06 July 2017

Credit List

Home design/interior design/builder Urbane
Projects – home designer Steve Gliosca
Kitchen manufacturer Furniture Design Studio
Cladding Split Face Travertine, from Bernini
Roof Colorbond Trimdeck, Monument
Windows/doors Commercial Aluminium Joinery
Floor tiles Bernini Sahara Chiaro, honed and filled travertine, from Bernini
Paint Taubmans, Dulux Grand Piano 25%
Heating Admiral Mechanical Services
Lighting Halo Lighting
Kitchen cabinetry Laminex American Walnut timber veneer
Benchtops, splashback Bernini Versailles Natural Stone
Kitchen lighting Fazed Fixed Square; Jazz pendants by Vibia
Kitchen sink Lago by Abey
Taps Pinch
Oven, cooktop, dishwasher Miele
Ventilation Ventair
Refrigeration Electrolux
Water dispensers Zip Hydrotap
Bathroom vanity cabinetry Laminex American Walnut timber veneer
Vanity countertop Bernini Honeycomb Quantum Quartz
Shower fittings Mare shower mixer, Mero slide bar
Bath Vienna freestanding
Basins Mojo Elipse
Wall tiles Tiles Expo Matt White and Bernini Dorato
Bathroom lighting Egger Licht Square Duo
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – winner