Amazing Mid-Century Modern Addition in Balwyn North

This home is truly inspiring.

It is clear that mid-century modern style is popular today and while many examples of MCM homes are still in their pristine condition throughout Melbourne and Australia, it is rare to find a brand new addition that exemplifies the style in such a way as this.

The McIntosh Residence in the Melbourne suburb Balwyn North was treated to this amazing addition and modernist styling by Nest Architects and they truly must be congratulated for their efforts!

While the architectural design and internal detailing is great, the treatment of the landscape is also a fantastic example of a mid-century Australian garden and truly complements the home.

To the front of the property is a curved driveway that provides a great approach to the front of the original home and also a fantastic modernist stand alone guest house.

The front garden consists of a lawn area off the driveway with a curving garden bed that extends across the front of the new guest house.  A simple spade edge provides a clean break between the lawn and garden bed.

The planting consists of a stunning array of architectural plants with a variety of foliage forms and colours.  The Cycad (Cycas revoluta) above is a perfect feature in front of the colourful facade of the building.

Bird of Paradise and New Zealand Flax provide more feature planting while flowering groundcovers provide contrasting colour.

As well as the addition to the front of the property, the existing house has been given a stunning mid-century modern renovation.  An additional living area and bedrooms have been built to the rear with a wall of glass that opens onto a paved terrace and a feature metal sliding door.

Natural materials are used in both the building extension and the landscaping with walls of timber panelling and random-laid stone to the terrace.

The clean, simplicity of the landscaping extends to the rear garden, where a low rendered retaining wall frames the terrace.  The wall is painted to match the white features of the building facade and the top forms a clean minimal border for the rear lawn.

A separate courtyard area features more iconic mid-century landscaping features, with a breeze block wall to the rear of the carport, circular steppers set within a pebbled ground layer, feature rockwork and potted architectural feature planting.

This project shows how an addition to a mid-century modern home can be achieved in a way that retains and continues the design philosophies of the original architecture, and also how the landscaping can truly complement and enhance the home.

So what can be learnt from this home?

  1. The architect has thoughtfully considered the existing style of the home while extending it to cater for a contemporary lifestyle.
  2. The new living area has a wall of glass that opens itself to the garden, with timber panelling connecting the interior and exterior spaces.
  3. Natural, functional materials are repeated in both the home and the garden.
  4. Lawn areas are given basic, neat edging creating a clean and minimal finish.
  5. The planting uses architectural species with a variety of foliage in feature positions, underplanted with groundcovers for seasonal colour.


For more information on this project please visit the following:

The Next Step

If you have a home and garden that you think could be improved through a thoughtful approach to modernist design then please contact me and we can begin the process!