The Brief

As the new custodians of a storied Ivanhoe residence, our client wanted to seamlessly transform two separate dwellings into a single, cohesive four-bedroom home that supports their lifestyle while inherently respecting the property’s cultural significance.

The Outcome

The Guilford Bell and Neil Clerehan-designed set of two residences is hailed as one of Australia’s first examples of architect-designed multigenerational homes. Built in the early 1960s as a street-facing townhouse with a double-story house at the rear, the home remained in the same family for over half a century.

Central to the brief was a desire to retain the floorplan and for any changes to be non-invasive. The genius of Bell and Clerehan’s original layout meant a simple set of steps could seamlessly connect the staggered townhouses.

We removed the kitchen and a partition wall that demarcated the front townhouse’s living, dining and kitchen areas, creating a modern, expansive living space. The living, dining and kitchen area of the former rear townhouse could then become the dining room, adjoining a larger, more functional kitchen. We reconfigured and updated the laundry and powder room and added an external deck that celebrates the surrounding nature and encourages an indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

True to our shared desire to pay homage to the original architects, our modifications were discreet yet effective. We refinished the original Tasmanian Oak floors, while the study features bookshelves repurposed from the living room. Our material palate and commitment to simplicity updates the original aesthetic, ensuring the current owners can add their own legacy to its rich history.

Project Type

Adaptive Re-use & Renovation




Architect Hewson


Tom Ross

Loose Furniture

Billie Roy


Without Studio