Kiah House by Austin Maynard Architects

Kiah House is an addition to a weatherboard cottage in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. It was designed in 2017 by Austin Maynard Architects.

Modern bedroom with open mesh doors leading to a natural rock garden.
Contemporary house with large glass windows and colorful mural.
Modern dining area with glass walls overlooking a garden
Minimalist dining room with wooden table, black chairs, and pendant lights.
Contemporary kitchen with angular wood island and pendant lighting.
Modern kitchen with wooden cabinets, pendant lights, and island with reflective countertop.
Contemporary bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and wooden walls.
Modern home office corner with red chair and white desk.
Modern interior with a vibrant red spiral staircase against wooden walls.
Exposed brick interior leading to a small garden with large windows.
Modern two-story home with mixed materials and large windows, surrounded by greenery.
Modern house with illuminated interior and garden at dusk.
Contemporary bedroom with expansive glass walls overlooking a rock garden.

About Kiah House

Redefining Work and Sanctuary at Kiah House

Australians increasingly work from home. Kiah House introduces a groundbreaking home office concept, doubling as a sanctuary for its owners.

The Genesis of Kiah House

An addition to a 1927 weatherboard cottage in North Fitzroy, Melbourne, Kiah House integrates a master bedroom ‘haven’ and an office above. The team meticulously restored the original house, adding a modern kitchen and bathroom.

Vision of a Sanctuary

Angela and Rahul, along with their three cats, envisioned their home as a sanctuary. Drawing inspiration from Japanese gardens and Kyoto’s Buddhist retreats, they desired a peaceful, welcoming space for relaxation and social gatherings.

Beyond a Place for Rest

The bedroom at Kiah House transcends traditional expectations. It serves as a meditative space, opening to the garden and featuring a Buddhist prayer area. The roof garden atop the retreat enhances insulation and offers Rahul a verdant view from his office.

A Fresh Take on the Suburban Layout

Kiah House challenges traditional suburban designs by treating the backyard as a second front yard. It fosters engagement with the northern street, creating a welcoming entrance and fostering neighborly connections.

The home office, designed for filmmaker Rahul, stands apart. Positioned above the house and accessed via a spiral staircase, it offers a unique spatial experience, privacy, and garden views.

Embracing Nature’s Majesty

A grand gum tree anchors the backyard, symbolizing the home’s connection with nature. The house physically and metaphorically embraces this tree, integrating it into the living space.

An Onsen-Inspired Retreat

The bathroom, reminiscent of an ancient Onsen, connects to a private garden, offering a tranquil bathing experience. A secret passage links it to the kitchen, enhancing the sense of discovery.

The Heart of the Home

Angela’s passion for cooking comes alive in the kitchen, centered around a unique island bench. This sculptural piece combines functionality with design, accommodating both intimate dinners and large gatherings.

Art Meets Architecture

The ‘Awakened Flow’ mural by Seb Humphreys adds a vibrant energy to the space, reflecting the home’s peaceful essence and the natural beauty surrounding it.

A Model of Sustainability

Kiah House exemplifies sustainable living, from recycled materials to solar panels. Its design maximizes natural light and passive solar gain, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling.

A Home Open to All

Rahul and Angela’s dedication to their home extends to sharing its beauty with others. Their open-door policy reflects a deep appreciation for community and the joy of sharing happiness.

By focusing on active voice, concise sentences, and strategic use of headings, this edited piece aims to captivate readers with the innovative design and heartfelt story of Kiah House, a sanctuary that redefines the concept of home.

Photography by Tess Kelly

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- by Matt Watts