by Neometro

Anderson House by B.E Architecture | A South East Asian Sensibility.

Architecture, Design - by Stephen Crafti
  • Anderson House by B.E Architecture

5th October, 2022

The owners of this house weren’t looking for a white brick glass box in the suburbs. While they don’t have a problem with this typology, the owners, a couple with young children who often have parents staying over, wanted a design that reflected their South-East Asian heritage.


“They wanted their house to reflect who they were as much as how they lived,” says architect Andrew Piva, director of B.E Architecture. And unlike many new homes with large basement garages, the owners warmed to the idea of a freestanding brick garage at ground level. 

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

Pivotal to the design is the choice of brick – a reddish tumble brick with matching mortar that creates a sense of monumentality. “We used a restrained palette of materials. It’s either the red brick including some of the interior walls or in situ concrete,” says Piva, pointing out the concrete staircase that connects the home’s three levels, and the concrete pillars and other detailing, such as the concrete benches in the kitchen. 

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

“We always start the design discussions with our clients with both a written as well as a visual brief, highlighting their likes as much as their dislikes,’ says Piva, who saw a number of watery images in their client’s tear sheets. This has been thoughtfully interpreted with a shallow pond at the front of the house that leads to the front door and also with a swimming pool in the back garden, the latter connected to an alfresco dining area. 

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

This is certainly a spacious house, one designed for the long term, with the children having their own spaces and areas to grow into. At basement level, for example, there’s a home office, a cellar and a gymnasium. And at ground level are the main living areas, including the open plan kitchen, dining and living area, along with a more formal sunken lounge. And given parents often stay over, there’s also a guest bedroom and bathroom just inside the front door. This allows the first floor to be given over to the family’s bedrooms, including two for the children, complete with ensuites, and also a generous main bedroom suite that features a central outdoor terrace to create a more ‘anchored’ effect. Even the ensuite to the main bedroom is monumental with bespoke granite tiles that appear to be ‘chiselled’ out of the wall cavities. “We were inspired by some of the buildings you might find at Jaipur rather than perhaps inner-suburban Melbourne,” says Piva, who was mindful of providing a level of consistency in the design, whether it took the form of concrete detailing or the slight tapestry arrangement of the external bricks used to create features such as the eaves. 

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

The kitchen, located at the core of the floorplan, is perhaps more similar to other homes found in Melbourne – simple and efficient with an emphasis on entertaining friends and family. However, there’s also a level of ingenuity as displayed in the substantial curved brick pillar in the outdoor pavilion that doubles as an open fireplace. “We were mindful of bringing in northern light wherever possible,” says Piva, pointing out some of the home’s courtyard gardens designed by Myles Baldwin and the double-height glazed window that brings in northern light while providing a ‘veil’ for the graphic concrete staircase. 

Anderson House by B.E Architecture

For B.E Architecture, this house was never going to be just another suburban house. “A house should capture a sense of the owners and here, their heritage forms an important part of our design journey,” adds Piva

Architecture + Design | B.E Architecture

Photography | Victor Vieaux

Words | Stephen Crafti 


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