Greville St, Prahran Photography: Lucas Allen

Greville St, Prahran

Behind the unassuming entrance of the former Sunrise Confectioners' Factory lies an unexpected family home above the offices of Jolson Architects & Interior Design.

When owner-architect Stephen Jolson purchased the 1950s building it had been decommissioned and was derelict. In the two-year renovation that followed, the exterior facade was retained but the entire internal structure and roof demolished. A family home was literally built inside the walls of the factory envelope.

Once inside the residence, a ribbon of steel forms a sculptural staircase representing the transition from the once derelict building to the refined interior home. The entrance on the ground floor is a gallery showcasing 14 large portraits and a black baby grand piano on a polished concrete floor.

The first floor contains the main living area and an unexpected outdoor garden oasis and contains a large circular swimming pool, terrace, bonfire and lush green grass. The glass doors can be opened up across the living area to create seamless indoor / outdoor living.

The garden has been carefully designed to reflect the seasonal changes of Melbourne's vibrant autumn, with a variety of leaf texture, scale and shades of green. The vertical walls of green provide a mask through which the occupants take advantage of borrowed landscapes from the adjoining parks and gardens, and afford dramatic sweeping city views. The line of the original sawtooth roof of the factory can be seen on the eastern and western walls.

The living space also references the building's origins with a floor to ceiling sliding wall panel which shows an image of the confectionary vats from the factory that used to stand in the same position. The panel conceals a functional desk space as well as the cooking surfaces. Other aspects of the kitchen, such as the oven and fridge, are cleverly considered within carefully articulated joinery.

In the lounge room, the surround sound system and television have also been carefully integrated to maintain the simplicity of the design. The television descends in front of the firewood store with the touch of a button. Behind the living area is a functional children's playroom and joinery.

The living space is contemporary and spacious, but also functional and robust for a family environment. Impressive large artworks, which have been collected in Australia, provide a contrast to the deeper tones of the interior palette.

Upstairs contains three bedrooms, each with extensive storage areas. The master bedroom is light-filled with a view of the garden and the city beyond. The bathrooms are examples of understated luxury.

At the end of the hallway is a gym which makes the most of the morning sun. It looks out to an irregularly shaped courtyard, containing a private outdoor shower. The courtyard reveals the texture of the original brickwork.

This family home is a contemporary oasis nestled in a bustling urban context. The design response is contextual and has been carefully considered.