“The masterstroke of Arc House’s design is its array of arched portals framing the façade. The softly curved structures are used to create a welcoming entry experience and simultaneously frame views of the leafy streetscape from inside the residences. Glen Iris was first established in the 1880s and the suburb is renowned for its stately residences and tree-lined streets. Arc House is a contemporary interpretation of the grand Edwardian homes that give Glen Iris its signature character.”
Director, DKO Architecture
Initial Facade Sketch
Director, DKO Architecture
Interiors Director, DKO Architecture
Associate, DKO Architecture
An interview with RAYMOND MAH, Simone Tyson and MICHAEL DRESCHER from DKO Architecture about the design process and vision that brings Arc House to life.
What attracted DKO to the Arc House project?
At DKO, we love to work in inner suburbs like Glen Iris, where residential density is balanced with the quality of the dwellings and a thoughtful response to historic context. At the heart of DKO’s design philosophy is a commitment to an urban architecture that serves people, respects place and stands the test of time. Arc House offers the opportunity to do all three.
How important is a successful relationship with a development partner?
It’s critical. Both of us are committed to delivering a project that serves its local community and elevates the standard of housing in the neighbourhood. Effective collaboration requires trust, humility and respect. In this case, the respect is mutual and born of a foundational regard for the integrity of the project.
How did you come to work with the developer?
The partnership began with existing personnel relationships and has grown from like-minded working values and a shared dedication to delivering high quality architectural outcomes. Operating closely with the development team has allowed us to unlock the essential elements of an outstanding design unique to Glen Iris. We are creating a legacy together.
What excites you about Arc House?
The striking and distinctive arched portals of the façade contrast the existing streetscape, yet are inspired by the expressive Edwardian detailing of neighbouring period homes. These are generously proportioned residences, with all the features and amenities of a detached home, and they offer a rare opportunity to tailor each residence to the occupiers’ lifestyle and tastes.
Can you describe the design process?
The brief envisaged a boutique quality project, aimed at owner occupiers, maximising their opportunities for personalisation through layout, function and materiality. Our process began with imagining ourselves as living in these residences. What are our expectations and desires? How can our lives be enhanced through good design? Our answers to these questions led us to a design response conceived around a seamless integration between the building’s architecture and interior design.
Why did you choose Glen Iris’ Edwardian arched entrances as your inspiration?
Edwardian architecture in Melbourne is associated with grandeur, luxury and a unique residential character – a perfect correspondence for this project! We wanted to offer a contemporary expression of these values in Arc House, with the same sense of welcome and familiarity. Our interpretation of Edwardian arches provides a sense of arrival, as well as an attractive threshold between the streetscape and the interior of each home.
“Operating closely with the development team has allowed us to unlock the essential elements of an outstanding design unique to Glen Iris. We are creating a legacy together.”
How does Arc House relate to the local environment?
Arc House reflects and deepens the verdant character of Glen Iris by surrounding itself with generous landscaped common areas, providing a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees to provide privacy and display the changing of seasons. Care has been taken to protect the most significant natural feature along Malvern Road, an existing 30m tall Spotted Gum. Its preservation within the Arc House grounds will ensure it continues to thrive.
How does the design shape lifestyle?
The internal volumes of the residences are designed with a humanised approach, where curved edges provide a softer, greater sense of space. Similarly the materials selected are familiar, natural, warm and tactile. Most importantly they are enduring. The collective effect is a home that is gentle on the senses, effortlessly easy to live in, and will enhance the lives of those who occupy them for a long time to come.
What makes Arc House special?
We hope Arc House will set a benchmark in design quality for the suburb and beyond. Internally we are confident that occupants and visitors to Arc House will experience a relaxed sense of luxury, with a seamless connection to light and nature through vast glazing and integrated terraces.