Bright colours, an array of textures, sharp lines and a polar bear ... this is one strikingly eccentric home
After the 2010 storms that passed through Victoria, this home needed a facelift. The floods had damaged the interior space and the owner decided it was an ideal time to redesign and revamp his home. The brief was to fix the damage done by the storms and improve the constitution, with Fleetwood Building Design + Construction called upon for the collaboration.
James Fleetwood, project manager and qualified builder with 28 year's experience in the building industry, worked closely with Rob Gould, owner of Gould Galleries, who advised on all aspects of art and interior design, to create the contemporary and unique space.
“The property is a single-fronted Victorian terrace, split over four levels, that was renovated 14 years ago. The original front two rooms at the entry and top level, as well as the connecting staircase were retained whereas the remainder was entirely rebuilt," explains James. “Our project consisted of non-structural work in both the interior and exterior areas of the home.” The end result is a home featuring beautiful textures, superior finishes and vibrant colours, accomplished through the skilled craftsmanship of James and Rob.
One of the stand-out features is the interior pond. Lined with reflective material to accentuate the depth of the water, the pond runs alongside the dining room and is a dramatic focal point that enhances the contemporary feel of the home.
The dining, living and kitchen areas feature flooring made from limestone, imported from Spain by Signorino Tile Gallery, a company who quote “we don’t sell tiles, we sell fashion.” This element of chic can be seen in the dwelling from the floor to the ceiling, and each room exudes a sense of modern sophistication.
They also supplied the stone flooring that runs alongside the pond in both the interior and exterior areas of the house. This particular stone is the whitest natural stone available for purchase and was chosen to contrast with the dark pond.
The interplay between different colours and textures is carried through the dwelling and it is evident the client has a strong eye for matching colours with moods. “I worked closely with Rob and the owner on the colour palette as the owner wanted the mood of the house to match his extensive artwork collection,” James explains. From the moment you enter the house, a distinctive mood is set with the 32-metre long hallway extending through the four levels and master bedroom, hand painted in a metallic gun-metal grey. Contrasting this at the entry level, pink distinguishes the formal double lounge, while textured, burnt-orange walls add warmth in the upper level living area and second bedroom.
One of the home’s notable rooms is the bathroom, which features red and black Starphire Glass walls, contrasted stunningly by a pristine white bath.
The red featured in the bathroom is carried through to a quirky and novel exterior furnishing — a massive red polar bear sculpture by Scott Redford, which was originally exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery, is prominently featured in the fully-tiled outside pond area. The combination of the black tiles, white stone and red polar bear make for an ultra-modern and inspirational space for the owner to relax in.
The outdoor area redesign was somewhat challenging for James and his team. “The polar bear had to be craned into position,” James explains. “As did the five large pots that were already there and needed to be craned down to the ground floor and back up again, each weighing in at 300 to 400 kilograms!”
The outcome of the redesign is bold and emotive space. The entire home boasts highquality finishes, and angular lines throughout the dwelling activate a number of free-flowing and functional areas. Comfort was also a key constituent in the revamp of the dwelling; the roof is double glazed, the walls and ceiling have extra insulation and all ground-floor areas have had hydronic heating installed in the floor.
It’s clear that Fleetwood Building Design + Construction was able to create the home the client desired. It’s stunning, unique, comfortable, quirky, and stands as a testament to the client’s taste and architectural ambition. “It’s an overall amazing house,” James says.