Toorak House by AM Architecture
a walled garden sanctuary

Toorak House

Toorak House is a walled garden sanctuary where the outdoors is, by extension,  inside,  forming the conceptual heart of the project.

The house is designed for one single occupant and visiting children and fulfills the owner’s request for a singular and uncomplicated living space to inhabit.

Entry into the space is through a gateway and three-metre-high garden wall that encompasses expansive north facing internal and external living areas.

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A single level for ease of living

The black garden wall becomes a recessive backdrop to the owner’s colourful artwork within.  Externally and over time, it will become overlaid with the vivid green of trees and climbing plants.

The main space is further partitioned into public and private areas by a stepped bluestone mass that screens the living spaces from the entry and defines two internal courtyards.

The bluestone mass extends inside to become a seat, a hearth, a bookcase and kitchen and hints at a monolithic stone ruin that sits between spaces, that can be experienced from all sides.

Toorak House Living Room & Internal Courtyard. Full height windows divide the living room and internal courtyard. The blue stone mass becomes an external seating and screening.

The rear of the building, featuring full-height windows, is set into a terraced site with raised garden beds to align with the natural surrounds. Here again, the bluestone appears, as if emerging from the earth.

Toorak House Bathroom. Continuous blue stone mass creates a shelf for the bathroom stretching from vanity to the shower.

Whether during the day or lit subtly at night-time, Toorak House is a sanctuary space, where inside and outside are embraced by the garden wall and spatial flow and privacy are articulated by the stone features within.

“The house is so easy to live in.

The northern light keeps it warm in winter and light throughout the year. The spaces are intimate and at the same time can be adapted for entertaining. All the rooms have a pleasant garden outlook and the walls are wonderful for art and my porcelain collection.”


The owner Shelly, in House and Garden Magazine, November, 2014.