Beach Rd, Black Rock

Architect: Cassandra Fahey (Cassandra Complex)

Designed by Cassandra Fahey and constructed by Frank, the Smith house is the result of a very practical brief from its sports-loving owners. They wanted a four-bedroom home, with large living spaces, a cinema and a garage for three cars; shyly, they also mentioned they wanted a ‘trophy home’. In choosing Cassandra as architect – renowned for her ‘Pamela Anderson house’ – they were on a path towards an unorthodox design.

The interior of the house with its floating rose-coloured roof is reached by passing through a huge Golden-Book-style doorway, which leads into a mirrored hall. This is a project designed for bold clients willing to take risks: a glass mural features a well-endowed Ian Thorpe; the living room has a gold-coloured, soft-furnished ceiling; and the children’s bedrooms invoke Aladdin’s Cave and Alice in Wonderland. A suspended lap pool wraps the entire north- and west-facing sides of the building. The many playful and idiosyncratic elements make this a home like no other. It was awarded the 2007 Royal Australian Institute of Architects (Vic.) award for ‘Residential Architecture’ and was a finalist in the HIA awards for ‘Custom Built Homes’.

2007, RAIA (Vic.) award for The Smith Great Aussie Home, Blackrock

2007, Interior Commendation – National Award – The Smith Great Aussie Home, Blackrock

2007, HIA award, finalist for The Smith Great Aussie Home, Blackrock