David Luck House

Architect David Luck and his partner Robynne Kinnane lived in stables at the rear of this property, while their new two-storey home and office was built. A project spanning three years, Luck was both designer and builder, using his joinery skills to create a wood-lined living space for his work and family.

While the inner city site in South Yarra, Melbourne is compact, 5.5m x 21m, Luck’s ideas pushed well beyond the boundaries. 'We had high ambitions for this project. It wasn’t just about creating a functional home and office. I wanted this design to express my architectural ideas and the way I think,' says Luck.

Because of the size of the site, Luck kept the spaces as open-plan as possible. At ground level there’s a flexible area at the front of the building, a bluestone floor that is garage by night and a meeting room for clients during the day.

The ground floor also contains Luck’s office, defined by a wall of timber joinery and three work stations. There’s also a bathroom and second bedroom. And although space was limited, there was sufficient room for a long courtyard style garden, complete with outdoor bath and built-in bench seating.

‘Floating’ timber steps lead to a first floor almost completely lined with copper. At one end of this space is the main bedroom and bathroom, separated by a large pivoting door. The remainder of the floor is given over to the kitchen, dining and living areas. Replacing traditional rooms are ‘platforms’, one for the main bedroom, the other a media/second living area. To frame the views, as well as create privacy, Luck designed curved fin-like extensions, made from copper.

While the house is full of surprises, it’s the retractable roof that triggers the greatest reaction. 'When it’s open, you feel like you’re sitting on a veranda. And at night, the blinds drop to create a pure white space,' says Luck.

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