57 Tivoli Road by B.E. Architecture


Australian studio B.E. Architecturehave completed a house in Melbourne clad in basalt slabs of varying size and thickness.

The house, 57 Tivoli Road, is located on a sloping corner plot and has internal courtyards.

A six metre-long window in the living room slides open over views of the city.

The interior is primarily fitted out in wood, with a staircase twisting through the space and guest bedrooms clad floor to ceiling in timber.

The following information is from the architects:


The Tivoli Road house is a private residence, located on a rare inner-city corner site located within a streetscape of mixed housing stock.

Its location allowed us to explore both built form and materials selection, and is designed to act as a bookend to the other houses in its block.

The exposed corner site meant a protective building was required for both visual and acoustic privacy, and the design seeks to create an enclosed shelter for the occupants.

To enhance the building’s reading as a single object, a single external material was chosen – bluestone.

The bluestone was selected for its durability and ability to age kindly, while being sourced locally allowed the construction costs to be lowered.

In order to create movement in the external faces, a paneling technique was developed using the diamond sawn bluestone in varying thickness and panel widths – the “chattered” effect the stone created meant we could push the limit of residential architecture to a more brutal, minimal built form.

To soften the expansive use of bluestone, the clients’ love of timber was expressed within – where externally the bluestone dominates, so too does the timber internally.

The building utilizes Spotted gum flooring throughout, with feature bunk rooms for occasional visitors clad floor to ceiling, and a cranked Blackwood stair in the two storey entrance space that serves as a modern reference to the traditional spiral staircase.

Internal light courts were used to filter light throughout the site, enclosed external courtyards used to incorporate landscaping, both maintaining privacy and connection to the exterior conditions.

A six metre sliding window was employed to convert the living area into a large entertaining terrace, borrowing views to the city in order to instill a spaciousness uncommon in small inner city sites.

With all b.e. Architecture projects, the refined forms and considered material selection are achieved by resolving every corner, junction and detail with craft-like techniques, seen here particularly in the subtle external texture designed to develop a patina affording the building a timeless quality.

Posted on Wednesday March 24th 2010 at 12:15 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • absolute wonderful house with brilliant woodwork … and the stairs are breathtaking … only I can say WOW!

  • j

    Appears very well thought-out

  • JP

    I like!
    this is something!

  • geronimo

    from outside it looks really great. inside it has some nice moments, but the small room with the ladder is fatal. i think a sleeping room in the transsibirian waggon is bigger.

    they should make a wardrobe out of this room and not something like that :)!

  • I.P. Freely

    Geromino is right. The house is very lovely, though.
    What kind of plants are those that cover everything?

  • bodkin

    superficially looks great but why are there so few windows? the two sides to the road would have suited windows and that bedroom with just top light would become horribly claustrophobic. i guess the client must be uber-private

  • slater

    The project as a whole is a bit too heavy for my tastes but I think the overall idea/design has merrit. I think the facade and interior could have been developed a bit further to make this a stunning project.

  • Juampi Z

    great wooden stairs!!

  • Modernism still alive :) The staircase is really cool!

  • why are the bedrooms so sacrificed.. had it to resort to bunkbeds? there’s absolutely no bedrooms.. great living and master :) nice house.. a bit ominous.. but fantastic!

  • DK

    Very nice, but seems so cold, dark and gloomy, the choice of colours inside reflect the coldness that the building gives from the outside.

    I think the reason the bedrooms are sooo small is because the walls had to dig into the interior space with those huge slabs!

  • Mgg1

    does anyone know who this photographer is?!

  • zulooch

    i walk past this building on a regularl basis and god dammit, its a fine piece of architecture.

  • Jon

    The smaller rooms are for visiting grandchildren.

    It is built on a very busy corner hence the limited opennings to the street.