Home Tour | Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

  • Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    Kew Garden House sees Robson Rak cultivate an enduring family home through the dovetailing of heritage and contemporary design within a picturesque garden setting.

    This circa 1890s grand Victorian home, located in Melbourne’s leafy Kew, used to belong to the late Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. Now home to a young family of six, Kew Garden House gracefully mediates between the past, with its heritage facade still in-tact and period details peppered throughout, and present, as it unfolds to reveal a new modern pavilion at the rear.

    Upon entry, Kew Garden House appears as a protector of its own historic narrative. The existing fabric features grand marble fireplaces, ornate Victorian cornices, arches and incredibly high ceilings. Robson Rak have sought to complement and enhance the beauty of these period details while propelling the home into future relevance through updated finishes, fixtures and the subtle integration of home automation technology.

    Filled with light and intrinsically connected to the surrounding garden, the rear addition echoes the rhythm of the front volume while establishing a new identity. Externally, the black iron lacework of the heritage volume seamlessly gives way to black steel cladding, enveloping the new kitchen and living zone.

    Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    The bar and surrounding joinery features sculptures by Joseph Turrin, Tessy King, Studio Mulders and Bastard Ceramics. Also pictured: the Oluce Atollo table lamp and a painting by Greg Wood.

    Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    A cosy atmosphere is achieved in the sitting room with a Halcyon Lake Chromatic rug, Lintello Manhattan coffee table and Arflex Marenco sofa. Artwork by Edwina Edwards; sculptures Joseph Turrin and Bastard Ceramics.

    As the home transitions between old and new, navigation through a transparent internal atrium allows for a gentle recalibration and celebration of the home’s connection to its sprawling garden surrounds. Every vista has been cultivated to converse with the landscape, rendering it the perfect backdrop for a family who love to entertain. 

    The interior palette is guided by saturations of colour introduced through art and furniture pieces, which are underpinned by muted greys and more subtle tones. Tactile and graphic expressions become a further layer with brickwork, timber grain, natural stone and patinated metals and leathers, encouraging a dialogue with nature’s textures to cement further the home’s connection to its site.

    The main objective for Robson Rak’s Kew Garden House was to create a luxurious yet comfortable home that embodied a sense of place, lightness and outdoor connection. The studio have done so by responding to the way it is occupied and navigated, ultimately achieving an elegant and timeless family home.

    Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    The primary bedroom features a custom leather-upholstered bedhead, custom Thomas Lentini bedside table, Ligne Roset PaiPai chair and Toledo Opal pendant. Artwork by Paul Snell.

    Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    The entry hall features the Bomma Pendulum pendant and a custom Daniel Barbera console. Artwork by Jo Elbourne; sculptures by Kirsten Perry and Irene Grishin Selzer.

    Kew Garden House by Robson Rak

    Linking the period and contemporary zones of the home is a transparent atrium. Pictured: the Viccarbe Shape low table and an artwork by Luke Crouch.

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