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Fortress Exterior Reveals Open Interiors Surrounding Central Courtyard

Australian architects Workroom Design collaborated with Agushi Builders to create Oban House, an urban house in South Yarra near Melbourne, Australia. The contemporary style home takes shape as a simple rectangular box, boasting clean, crisp lines complemented by an organic material palette and an industrial edge. Within the boundaries of this concrete walls house are two living areas, a study, kitchen with butler’s pantry, four bedrooms with three bathrooms, and a third living area tucked away on the second level, accessible by an elevator. This city home encompasses a private central courtyard, overlooked by the glazed living areas.

From the outside, the concrete walls give the house an impenetrable, fortress feel.
The entrance is tucked into a nook between the zinc-clad garage and a brick wall, carrying a concealed, cavernous, almost secretive air about it. A slim void beside the solid wood door offers a sneak peek at what’s concealed behind these towering exterior walls, enticing you with a sliver of light and warmth.
The heavy wood door is edged by a floor-to-ceiling glass panel, letting the lush green views and natural light follow you inside.
A central feature in the home isn’t technically “in” the home itself, but rather it’s a courtyard, tucked privately behind the double-storey glass wall of the two-storey living area.
The pool makes for refreshing views or a dip!
This alfresco living and lounging area ushers you into the house itself, which is as fresh, light and airy as the outdoors. Interiors are finished in a combination of concrete, oak and travertine.
The single-storey dining area adjoins to the living area, which opens up with a soaring two-storey ceiling height, overlooking the courtyard on the other side of the glass.
The different ceiling heights really defined each area, the living room as the social hub, and the dining area as a more intimate space of the two.
The living room is also connected to the kitchen, bringing up the rear. Each area of the home is soaked in sunlight and enjoys the fresh green scenery.
The soaring living room has its own sense of intimacy, thanks to the comfortable, warm furnishing and a wood feature wall.
This fireplace is the picture of contemporary, outside-the-box thinking.
The kitchen and formal dining area are tucked toward the back of the home, overlooking one other. Each area is simple, yet modern – we’re not sure which boasts the better view!
We love the kitchen’s dramatic black cabinetry against the neutral wood and the bright white marble island.
The stainless steel backsplash adds a modern touch.
The view of the dining area, where the black table and chairs pick up the drama of the black kitchen cabinets, visually connecting the two spaces.
Love the industrial, “thoughtfully thoughtless” lighting. The wood slat ceiling leads past the sliding glass door and back outside, full circle.
A hidden office nook is tucked behind the kitchen, wrapped in wood and ready to get down to business.
The expansive glass walls are amazing in that, they not only let in the light and the views, but they physically connect you to the courtyard with a simple slide. The gauzy curtains echo the fresh breeze blowing in.
Another “work” area has a fun look and feel, thanks to the built-in tabletops and shelving, a variety of seating styles, and collections of books and tchochkes on display.
All that work and play calls for a quiet spot with plush seating and gossamer white light.

  • Dreamy…
  • fortress-exterior-reveals-open-interiors-surrounding-central-courtyard-25.jpg
    Even the bathroom echoes the home’s bold palette of black and white, softened by rich, grainy wood details.
    Workroom Design and Agushi Builders


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