North Balwyn

Project Brief.

During our initial meeting for our clients brief, they expressed the desire for a substantial two storey home with a total area in the order of 650 square metres (70.00 squares), with this also including the garage and alfresco area. They were also quite adamant that the ground floor needed to be on one level, with ease of access, at a similar level into the rear yard and swimming pool enclosure. The architectural styling was to have a French Provincial presentation.

The brief required on the Ground Floor: A Double Garage, Formal Living Room, Guest Bedroom, Formal Dining area, Theatre, Kitchen (with Butlers Pantry) opening onto the Family Room and Alfresco. The First Floor was to include 3 additional secondary Bedrooms, two with a shared Bathroom, one as an additional Guest Suite, a Study, a substantial Rumpus Room and a generous Master Suite. Added to this list was a feature Staircase, minimum 3.0m ceilings to both levels and a Balcony above the Front Entry.


2 Fortuna Avenue, Balwyn North.
New Home
Contemporary and clean
Enjoy entertaining friends, in this modern and spacious kitchen


Once the design process commenced, after obtaining a Site Feature Survey, it quickly became evident that one level for the Ground Floor was totally impracticable, whilst attempting to achieve moderately level access to the rear yard. This was due to the site having considerable land fall from front to rear.

The rear yard also presents to the west, where some of the main living areas were proposed, so protection to these areas was vital from the hot summer sun, whilst encouraging solar access from the north. Added challenges were that the ceiling heights compounded the side setback issues, whilst including the need for due consideration of over shadowing onto the adjoining southern properties.

A difficult process ensured to convince our clients that their desire for one level could not be achieved, followed by the process of demonstrating alternative solutions. This included the incorporation of split levels to the Ground and First Floors, along with minimal front excavation, being careful to avoid the effect of burying the front of the dwelling.

The different floor levels are zoned to avoid constant level change when going about daily functions. The main family living areas are at one level to the rear of the ground floor, with Guest and more formal areas at the entry level, whilst on the first floor, the parents have the lower first floor level coming off the staircase, with the other family members sharing the upper first floor level at the front of the home.
A design isn't finished until someone is living in it.
Double the living space, by bringing the outdoors in.

What it meant to the client.

The outcome presents a well-balanced stylish residence, within a much sought after suburb, but more importantly met our clients brief and the challenges presented, giving them a spacious residence for now and into the future for their growing family.
© 2018 McLauchlan Building Designers