Elwood by Splinter Society


Splinter Society


Jack Lovel




Melbourne, Australia


A carefully crafted renovation of a much-treasured Californian Bungalow, the Elwood House focuses on enhancing the original character of the structure and enriching the experiences in the house. Drawing on the owner’s diverse range of personal objects, interests, places of travel, this home is rich in both narrative and texture.

This home is not about grand statements. Maintaining the majority of the original house, the plan is simple and traditional, with a characteristic side entry, central hallway and adjoining small rooms. In line with the standard bungalow palate, the new interior uses the dark local timbers offset against stucco and hard plaster, in new ways to create texture, and play of light. Transforming throughout the day, the design nurtures a quiet sanctuary to reflect on the passage of time. Drawing on the inspirations for Bungalow architecture, the redesign also builds on a rustic Japanese vernacular to create an elegant, yet unpretentious living space. The integration the client’s eclectic collection, forms a deeply personal connection between form and more meaningful function.

It is not about open plan. Retaining a cosy cottage feel, the modest addition focuses on intimacy and connection to the garden. The client works from home so the spaces need to be flexible but also to provide a variety of experiences within one dwelling. Each space is small with independent functions, custom-made for one, but capable of expanding for gatherings. The result is a private retreat. It’s relaxing, warm, safe and unassuming.

The house cannot be separated from the landscape that grounds it. From the entry, the garden provides a desirable sense of privacy and helps refresh the traditional architecture. At various moments through the program, the gardens are framed to created continuous connections to the exterior. At the rear, new openings and glazing link these spaces and carefully frame views of the naturalistic landscape beyond. The substantial garden at the back it’s the ultimate retreat with a modest pool and stunning plantings.

Intrinsically a respected bungalow house, the Elwood House is a modernised living environment where the client’s memories and achievements are celebrated, while providing serene moments for reflection.

Text provided by Architect

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