2023 Featured Houses

Take a sneak peak at the five unique mudbrick homes featured in this year’s virtual tour.

House One

Vincent and Ruth are only the second owners of this mudbrick home, which was constructed by owner builders Dale Watson and Anne Colvin over a period extending more than two decades. The original house was constructed from recycled Jarrah timbers and mudbrick and was built in stages, commencing in 1990. The first stage was completed in only 6 months, with the help of friends.  The adjoining studio and workshop area was added later in 1994. A further extension to expand the living area and deck finished the main building works in 2007. As a final touch, Dale added a tear drop shaped plunge pool in the rear landscaped native garden in 2010.

House Two

The inside/outside connection is emphasised in this Mudbrick home owned by landscaper, Sam Cox, and partner Lisa Hatfield. The Wattle Glen property was modelled after “Laughing Waters”, a mudbrick house in Eltham South rented by Sam and owned by his mentor, landscaper Gordon Ford. Sam was 25 years old and decided to owner build while working for Ford during the day. All his spare time was dedicated to completing the four bedroom home with help from mates and local tradies. The majority of timbers and building materials were reclaimed and recycled. The garden has matured over twenty-five years and fully embraces the home with lush, detailed planting and canopy.

House Three

This home, situated on a 1/3 acre treed block, was designed by Alistair Knox in 1975 for the O’Brien family. It was originally a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom home, with two additional bedrooms with a second bathroom being added later. The house is an example of a typical ‘Knox box’, simple in its design & layout, utilising oregon & ironbark post & beam construction with mudbrick infill. The key space of the home is the large living area containing the kitchen, dining, lounge & family rooms, illuminated by north facing clerestory windows. The rooms are open to each other with spaces separated by a 3.5m recycled Hawthorn brick partition containing fireplaces on both sides. Floors are laid with repurposed Welsh slate throughout. The house is positioned high at the rear of a steeply sloping block. A 2.5m wide verandah running the full length of the house provides a perched vantage point, from which the landscaped bush garden falls down toward the street.

House Four

This is the residence of local Eltham builder and designer Michael Young. The house is 26 years old. In his youth he worked for Alistair Knox and Rob Boyle amongst others before becoming a registered builder himself. The house site is compact and located on a steep slope.  The build is a combination of rendered mud brick on a footing of fired clay bricks. The roofline features the characteristic steep slope which Michael has employed in many of his builds. This house appeared in the 2017 Mudbrick Tour.  Since then, a more recent renovation has a sympathetically modified the kitchen and Michael has carefully blended modern engineering materials to open out the living spaces. This home is now a classic example of the malleability of mudbrick buildings. If you visited previously, you will be impressed with what can be done in mudbrick.

House Five

This mudbrick home, situated on a secluded bush block, was originally a compact 100m2, constructed in 1979 to accommodate the owner builder, Tim Malseed.  In the original wing, recycled materials were used to build an open plan space with brick floors, rough sawn heavy oregon beams and floor to ceiling windows along the north face, which look out to the surrounding native garden.  After a 9-year gap, the new owners commissioned Tim to add a second stage, which seamlessly integrates into the first. This addition doubled the floor space to accommodate the new owners’ expanding family. The gentle slope at the rear of the house was planned in 1998 by landscape designer Gordon Ford and executed by Sam Cox, who reshaped the space adding water catchment and irrigation, a significant indigenous planting and massive boulder steps giving ready access to the rear native garden.