Raheen Residence


With the impressive Victorian splendour of the Raheen Estate forming the backdrop to this blank canvas property in the leafy inner suburb of Kew, significant challenges of site topography, access and the provision of a significantly large dwelling on a relatively small plot of land, abound.

Client and original architects ‘Liveload’ worked tirelessly over a three year period to formulate a schematic that met both client requirement and the demands of the difficult site. Before this preliminary work could be developed, tragically the designer met with ill health and was forced to abandon the project.

Unfamiliar with the conventions of being asked to take over where others have already made a start, the practice found itself in unchartered waters. To the clients credit, and whilst respecting the efforts already undertaken, we were given space to redefine to our own formula, the work left before us.

Our primary goal was to establish an architectural language throughout that would engage with, and develop a strong relationship with its landscape setting.

We felt the site could afford a building that was unapologetic in its assertiveness and modernity, one that would contrast with its Raheen backdrop yet be well grounded and fit in with the native Australian landscape surrounding it.

In its detailing we worked towards balancing the contrasting elements of solid building mass with the openess and transparency of glass banded walling.

Here, seemingly unsupported solid forms float aloft banded glass walls providing ground level visual interconnection whereby one can read the entire site from front to back, capturing distant views of Studley Park Reserve from the courtyard garden via the transparent living room space and glimpses of the historic feature elements of the Raheen building from in front of the building and the pool area.