The Oak House

Dominated by a vast oak tree, the alterations to a Victorian house in inner Melbourne represents the formal and visual innovation in a new vein of work by architecture firm, Kennedy Nolan.

A Natural Ergonomic Design

The aspiration for a “very high quality, ergonomic design” was amplified by the clients’ desire to bring that into a wider operation of their house and use it to interact with the outside world. Based on this, the architects describe the importance of the kitchen, “for us, it really makes sense to work with Fisher & Paykel as they care about implementing good design in their product.”.

Full shot of the Oak House Kitchen and the floor to ceiling glass windows it faces.

Project Type: Residential

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Architect: Kennedy Nolan

Photographer: Derek Swalwell

Two pendant lights centred above an oak dining table with a backdrop of terra cotta tiled walls and a corridor.

Oak Surroundings

The visually unique features stem from the client’s personality, which creates a warm and hospitable flow throughout the building and is complemented by the elegant oak tree that is “always present”. This is especially prevalent when sitting low in the living space surrounded by garden with the dappled light shining through the tree canopy. A courtyard animates both the front and the rear of the house, providing further opportunities to embrace the mature oak - naming the project the ‘Oak House’ was a natural choice for Kennedy Nolan.

Side by side detailed shots showcasing the Oak Kitchens interior design.

Intertwining Classic

The classic styling of the black freestanding cooker implements many of the physical characteristics of the Victorian house, along with the unique alterations which make this project remarkably innovative. Functionality is a key consideration within the kitchen and the flexible cooking options with exceptional design complements the architect’s vision for the site. The intertwining of classic and idiosyncratic elements drift throughout the Oak House creating a sense of hospitality.

Image from the Oak Houses' courtyard looking into the Kitchen dining area.

Intellectually Engaging

For the architects, in terms of Kennedy Nolan’s principles, the project was a process of abstraction and a way of managing ornament, which pulls the whole building visually into a single object. The saturation of the texture, materiality and colour contribute to an intellectually engaging piece of architecture by Kennedy Nolan.

Explore The Look

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