Home Tour | Villa Glen by Lucy Clemenger Architects

  • Lucy Clemenger Architects transform an interwar villa in Melbourne’s Toorak by drawing on both 1930s Art Deco interiors and their client’s covetable collection of contemporary art.

    With the number of notable artworks that adorn its walls, it should be no surprise that Villa Glen is the home of a successful Melbourne-based art advisor and curator. The art connoisseur engaged local studio Lucy Clemenger Architects to design a home that would accommodate her collection while serving the needs of her family of five. “It was a privilege to work with someone who shared the same visual sensibility, and who was passionate about both art and design,” Lucy says.

    Painting by Prudy Hicks

    A Heritage Revival

    Coupled with the client’s appreciation for art and design was her appreciation for history; “she understood that she was a custodian of a grand old building that warranted a respectful approach,” Lucy says. Originally built in the 1930s, Villa Glen had sustained two major renovations before Lucy Clemenger Architects intervened – both of which lacked proper consideration for its heritage. Thus, introducing materials and features that referenced the home’s history while still representing a clear departure from the original fabric took precedence. 

    This project is one of the first for Lucy Clemenger Architects as a studio (commencing in 2016) and forms part of a series of heritage revivals in the Melbourne area. It embodies the studio’s careful use of space and materials to create a highly functional contemporary family home. 

    The brief called for open-plan, entertainment-orientated spaces which seamlessly connected to the garden. Wall sculpture by Alex Seton; paintings by Del Kathryn Barton and Chris Wake.

    Cote D’Azur marble benchtops and Dulux natural white joinery contrast with rich timber joinery and a pink accent cabinet in the Villa Glen kitchen. Also pictured: Tractor stools, a Halcyon Lake monochrome rug, the Rakumba Capital pendant and Brodware tapware.

    The Palette

    The home’s colourful and opulent material palette takes cues from 1930s Art Deco interiors, particularly prominent Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s theories around colour and their different effects. The colours impart a harmonious feel to the spaces, with materials ranging from marble, timber veneer, brass, tiles and various textiles. The client’s artwork is undoubtedly the biggest generator of colour, with pieces like Sally Gabori’s ‘My Country’ and Kathryn Del Barton’s ‘If You Leave with Me’ animating their surroundings.

    Space Spotlight: The Sitting Room

    The heritage house was carefully replanned to include a spacious new kitchen, family room, home office and – what Lucy names as her favourite part of the home – a vibrant sitting room adjoining the dining room with double french doors, a stone fireplace and baby blue walls. “It is a delightful room that tells the story of the home; a robust heritage structure layered with warm interior materials and details,” Lucy says. The delicate glass artwork that hangs above the fireplace, ‘Ho! Keum River’ by Lee Kyoung-Hwa adds a tranquil feel to the space – accentuated by the glass chandelier that hangs from the ceiling.

    The view from the entrance into the kitchen; artwork by Josh Yeldham and Zhang Dali; Mud vase.

    The dining space features the Moooi Heracleum Suspension lamp, Mattiazzi Osso chairs, Gubi IOI wall mirror and a Halcyon Lake rug. Ceramics by Dinosaur Designs; painting by Guy Maestri; sculpture by Miki Taira and Kaws.

    Painting by Jochen Pankrath, with a custom green velvet bedhead to match and Jardan throw blanket.

    The client’s home office was a new addition to the home.

    The entrance features the cc-tapis Reclining Figure rug designed by Faye Toogood, Moooi Meshmatics chandelier and a Halcyon Lake stair runner. sculpture by Lee Chin-fai Danny.

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