Berson House is a builders house that challenges the traditional narrative of a home in terms of structure, materiality and purpose. Drawing on the impactful nature of unique and unusual interior spaces, Monster Ideas Architects turns an existing pre-1945 house into a bold, multi-functional home.
Solidifying its strong approach from the outset, Berson House’s façade stands out in Norman Park with its geometric and demanding street presence. Craig Webster from Monster Ideas Architects overcomes initial barriers with ingenuity, tasked with a steep, challenging site in an uninhabitable state. While the new development was limited to two levels, this was overcome by moving the form up the slope of the site to create a large-scale, five-storey structure.
As the builders house, the design aspires to do something different and daring. Along with three children’s bedrooms, each with its own ensuite, a wine cellar and an isolated retreat for the parents, each level hosts a range of distinct features, including a two-storey climbing wall, an indoor soccer field and a 20-metre lap pool. The pool is thoughtfully integrated with the lower floors and has been punctuated with beautiful large windows so you can see the pool from the street, the kid’s bedrooms and the wine cellar.
Materiality and furnishings keep with the bold, unorthodox theme of the builders house – contemporary, modern injections dominate alongside darker, moody tones. Tongue & Groove’s natural grade French oak timber in a narrow-board style is used for soffit lining and bathroom ceilings, with wider boards installed on the floors. These timber planks are also incorporated into the custom dining table in the wine cellar. The Tongue & Groove timber supports the dark interior by injecting warmth into the space, counterbalancing the coldness of the concrete and the sharpness of the black, charred ironbark timber walls.
Spatial dimensions within the builders house have been re-engineered to welcome a modern lifestyle. Every part of Berson House is about maximising space and removing corridors. For example, the living, dining, kitchen and terrace are each a quadrant. The home’s elevated position helps connect the house to the surrounding panoramic views of suburbia in one direction and across the city to the west. In a way, the residence becomes transparent, with large windows and doors featured heavily throughout, which also welcome in light and provide ventilation.
Berson House evokes an experience of the home that is unlike any other. It is simultaneously refined, playful, bold and innovative. This builders house seamlessly re-invents a bygone house into something that is daringly modern and willing to make a statement.
00:00 – Introduction to the Builders House
00:36 – Doing Something Different
01:03 – The Brief and the Unusual Site
01:26 – A Walkthrough and the Layout of the Home
02:30 – Maximising the Space
02:57 – The 20m Lap Pool
03:22 – The Adult Retreat
03:50 – Tongue and Groove Interior Materials
04:17 – Materials Used Within the Home
04:54 – Proud Aspects and Moments
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Photography by Brock Beazley Photography.
Architecture by Monster Ideas Architects.
Interior Design by AM Interior Studio.
Build by Aurelien Berson Construction.
Styling by Tailored Home Styling.
Landscape Architecture by Steven Clegg Design.
Structural Engineering by Ingineered.
Geotechnical Engineering by Pacific Geotech.
Timber by Tongue & Groove.
Filmed and Edited by Pat Connolly.
Production by The Local Project.
The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of First Nations peoples in the identity of our country and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.
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