Ripponlea House by Luke Fry Architecture & Interior Design

  • Luke Fry Architecture & Interior Design revive a turn of the century home in Melbourne’s southeast by strengthening its connection to the outdoors and drawing on a sustainable, wabi-sabi design approach.

    Luke Fry Architecture & Interior Design have transformed a semi-detached brick home into a light-filled family abode with an inherent focus on longevity. Located in a leafy cul-de-sac in Melbourne’s Rippponlea, the design team have maintained the 1900s home’s charm and integrity as it turns over a new calm and connected leaf. 

    Luke Fry strayed from the original brief for a two-storey renovation. Instead, a refined and purposeful design approach led to a single-level concept designed around a courtyard that made the most of a smaller footprint. The Melbourne-based designer took a considered approach to site orientation, window location and internal zoning to future-proof the family home and its new extension, improving the connection with the outdoors, and at the same time, allowing for passive cooling and ventilation.  

    The new extension is hidden from the street view behind the single-fronted facade. Luke Fry Architecture & Interior Design focused on a visual consistency throughout, drawing on the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi and inspiration from day spas for their sense of serenity. “There is a high level of detail everywhere, from the joinery to skylights and courtyard which combine to make a small space feel comfortable and tranquil,” Luke Fry says. They also introduced clean and linear elements, with regard for the home’s history and to ensure they sat “comfortably with the old”.

    The home’s authentic materials include European oak, natural stone, concrete and brick, speaking to a steadfast approach to timeless design. These materials are softened by boucle and linen furnishings. The soft and tactile palette creates a seamless connection between old and new, inviting the surrounding greenery and natural light to be appreciated in each space. The home’s original brick foundation is revealed in the bedroom and living area while in the bathroom, classic fluted glass features alongside a concrete rendered bath. 

    Luke Fry Architecture & Interior Design have injected a breath of fresh air into this Melbourne heritage home by calling on time-honoured design philosophies and materials. Threading the existing home and new extension together through a consistent design language, they’ve ensured the Ripponlea House is ready to meet the demands of family living for decades to come.

    “We focused on maximising the tight single-fronted site as best we could by carving courtyards into the building to enhance natural light and its connection to the landscape. The design, both internally and externally, is one that creates a sense of calm.”

    – Luke Fry

    “It’s hard for me to look past the concrete rendered bath as my favourite element. This was experimental for us and something which we are truly proud of.”

    – Luke Fry

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