Sep 6, 2011

Timber, Glass & Simplicity: New Work by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

 If you like your houses as sculpture,
with plenty of natural materials like timber & stone
huge picture windows to glory in the sunlight,
and thoughtful but unfussy detailing to provide personality & warmth,
then it doesn't get much better 
than this new work by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design.
Window walls on both long sides of the living area,
with enticing access to alfresco dining & garden.
See the raised pool?
Clever solution to the ubiquitous 
"how do I hide the pool fence?" dilemma,
wherein the pool wall becomes the fence.
Shrewd, no?
But let's go back to the beginning.
The amazing architecture is actually an extension 
to this late 19th century Victorian house in Armadale
(one of Melbourne's older and leafier spots).
The bold & fanciful door mouldings & leadwork windows
give a clue to the drama beyond.
An extension can either mimic, 
or celebrate the difference,
between old and new. 
{Personally, I think neither is right nor wrong, 
because it depends on the context of the building.}
Here they chose the latter, 
contrasting the curvaceous intricacy of the original 
with simple lineal timber patterning in the new.
Which means the wrought iron 
is even more beautiful as a contrast
against the straight timber.
And oh, how clever is this?
The straight timber has been arranged in curves,
in a sweeping scoop of stripes,
which avoids the "boxy" look that this could have become.
For those who like their houses 
made of timber, glass & simplicity,
this is a thoughtful and considered example.

Do you like it?

Previous post on the same firm: Botanical Views


  1. Hi virginia

    Love some of the timber - and have always loved a well worn timber deck (you know like a ship's deck)

    I adore those glass doors for the entry - but yet hate the world being able to see in too.
    You wouldn't want to be running past inside in your knickers :)

    have a great day


  2. Like ... like ... LOVE.
    You had me at timber!!
    Thanks for the drool (-:

  3. oh I love well worn timber too Loulou! {I began to wonder if it is just me who likes this, or if I am out of touch with the rest of the planet - so yay for Loulou!}. Of course, I love freshly sawn timber too, for that wonderful smell (oooh - nothing like the smell of sawdust - yum!) and the wonderful grain patterns.

    And I wonder if the occupants feel the same way about running past in their undies??? I think the glass doors are actually at the back, as part of the new extension, while the front door is the original 19th century one - with frosted not clear glass so no knickers can be seen!!!

  4. Hello lovely Linda! Ah yep, I can see you getting wobbly knees over this house! 

  5. Omg ... I love this clever house design!
    Just stunning, the mix of timber (curved and straight) and glass ... with the old 19thC front ... and that pool is genius!

    Thanks for sharing this Virginia.xx

  6. Glad you love it too Marina! And the natty pool would, I imagine, look even more interesting from the upper level than a traditional level to ground variety. 

  7. Stunning! I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new! the indoor-outdoor use of the space is also so clever! 

  8. robinsonheather6/9/11 7:38 PM

    Hmm, I think that I love it and am fascinated by the glass panel on the outside wall--solar? Decor? Lou Lou's comment made me wonder if the extension will eventually turn as grey as the original home--now that would be lovely!

    PS. I can't for the life of me understand why I am always signed in here as the very cold and formal "robinsonheather" --silly Google!

  9. Hi Allison! Juxtaposition is the perfect word. 

  10. Hello RobinsonHeather! It will indeed turn grey if they don't keep oiling it. I agree with you, it would be very beautiful in a weathered silvery grey. And the panel, yes, I wondered that myself but couldn't find any reference to it so am left curious. It may just be one way mirrored glass - as it is one of the few upstairs windows which doesn't have timber screening - so it may be mirrored glass for privacy or for heat refraction. 

    Oh and as for the robinsonheather signature, try signing in on the Disqus account - it is quick to set up and then it is sheer convenience every time you comment thereafter. You can then add a photo of your choice to your avatar and link your wonderful blog to whatever display name you want to use. (Alternatively, sign your comments as a "guest", and you can then chose your name and can also link your blog.)

  11. The Decorator6/9/11 9:53 PM

    Virginia I really like the art work in image 3.  Is it a Jon Cattapan?

  12. Ellen Aspeslagh7/9/11 6:02 AM

    I love those slatted parts. Have been seeing quite a lot of it recently and did a post on it here

    X E.

  13. Wow you have good eyesight! You honed in on what I have to squint to see! I don't know if it is a Jon Cattapan - but being both a Melbourne artist and a Melbourne house, and it certainly is in his style, it may well be. And in any case I would always bow to your judgement on art over mine! Whoever the artist, it absolutely makes the space - just the right amount of colour and texture so as to draw the eye to the garden and greenery at each side. 

  14. Perfect design!


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