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Glenroy Road

The History

The original property at 27 Glenroy Rd , Hawthorn, was a two storey Edwardian family home on a corner allotment with 83 ft frontage to Glenroy Road and 180 ft frontage to Hawthorn Glen. The house featured prominently on the corner and was flanked by substantial trees within a traditional garden. In the 70s and 80s the property became rundown and when the family sold and the residence was vacated, the property required both internal and external renovation/restoration.

The property was purchased in the 90s by a company for redevelopment as a multi-unit development. A serious battle ensued with the "Save our Suburbs" movement supporting the rescue of the house dubbed "The Sullivan's House". The home, which by then had deteriorated further, was demolished. After a series of proposals and various battles with Save our Suburbs, Council and the Developer, the eventual solution which came about, was a two lot subdivision, with Planning Approval issued for two substantial family homes with specific plans.

Enter the current owners, who purchased the land from the developer in August 2001, and then set about redesigning and reorganising the planning of the two homes, to make them attractive and suitable for family living. By December of 2001, both homes had been replanned internally and externally, within the appropriate planning permit guidelines. The land for the second house at 17 Hawthorn Glen was sold on New Year's Day 2002.

The Design

The external appearance of the 27 Glenroy Road house was designed to mirror the traditional styles of Glenroy Road . Terracotta roof tiles were chosen to replicate the look of slate, together with the solid brick substructure and rendered brick superstructure, all detailed to present the traditional appearance. Detailing of all external timberwork was undertaken by the tradesmen to complement the traditional style. Detailed façade design was considered to provide the benefits of solid construction in terms of both climate and noise control, with laminated glass utilised throughout all windows and doors for added security.

The interior of 27 Glenroy Rd was replanned at all levels. The lower or basement level was redesigned to include an indoor basement swimming pool, and garaging for three cars. An upstairs rumpus space was deleted from the original design and bathrooms and bedrooms replanned to suit family accommodation, including a feature balcony with a south aspect. The result is a substantial family home of 4 bedrooms at the second level with two bathrooms (ensuite to the master) and a separate toilet. At ground level, entrance hall, study/bedroom with ensuite/powder room, formal dining and lounge rooms and family living/kitchen room adjacent to an external paved terrace, combine to provide the living and entertaining aspects. The basement level contains the garage, swimming pool and rumpus room.

The interior finish of the house was re-designed by architect Paul Gardiner in conjunction with the owners, particularly the décor in terms of built-in fittings and finishes. The functional areas of the kitchen and bathrooms benefit from the use of traditional marble, granite and porcelain finishes with the softening effect of timber, complemented by modern kitchen and bathroom appliances and hardware. The house also has oak parquetry floors throughout the ground floor, with the blocks up-sized to suit the spacious feel of the rooms. In line with modern design, electronic home automation systems to control climate, lighting and blinds, have been installed together with an integrated security system. The hydronic heating and reverse cycle air-conditioning systems are to the highest standards, matching European design with the Australian climate. The hydronic heating panels have been recessed into the walls on the ground floor, as per an original design at the Archbishops residence in Tours . The air-conditioning system is concealed within bulkheads, which also provide the recesses for the automated blinds.

Finish materials utilised through the house include:

The Garden

The garden was planned and executed by the owner with landscape gardener Phillip Stray of Crafted Landscapes. The creation of an external formal garden and then private garden rooms for entertaining and relaxation, have made the best of the exposed corner position and the setbacks required to meet the planning permit. All of the structured landscape work was undertaken by Phillip Stray, including all retaining walls, rock walls, pavements and irrigation systems. The planting has since been a labour of love for the owners.


The new 27 Glenroy Road began construction in March 2002. The whole of the construction process has been supervised by the owner (an experienced residential and commercial project development manager). Selection of materials and finishes details, were undertaken in a collaborative manner between the owner and master tradesmen Trevor McErlain and Tony White. The structure of the basement and ground floor - excavation, foundations, pool construction and retaining walls, were undertaken through the months of March, April and May and the ground floor concrete structure completed in early June 2003. The framing of the home and external cladding ensued and lock up was achieved in October 2003. The internal fittings were then installed over the succeeding three months. Construction was planned in minute detail and extraordinary care was taken to ensure as practical and "green" a result. From commencement to completion, Trevor and Tony worked daily on the house for 11 months with the owner visiting every morning to review with them the previous day's work and to work with them and plan the activities for the next week or so.

The project of construction was a labour of love and care from the whole team. As planned, the family moved in on 5 th February 2003.