ORB House

ORB House - Molesworth Street, Kew

Situated in one of Kew's oldest and finest tree-lined streets, with views extending across Yarra Bend parklands to the city, sits a breathtaking example of minimalist architecture - the aptly named `Orb House'.

Designed by architect Bojan Simic and completed in 2009, the unique `Orb House' is the first Australian house to apply commercial thermal glazing technology in a residential setting. So famed is the Orb House, that it is regularly visited by architecture students, who come to see this innovative home first hand.

Inspired by the dwellings of Pompeii, with their emphasis on a central, introspective courtyard, the Orb House wraps around a large outdoor entertainment precinct and is anchored by a curved wall which runs the entire length of the house and serves to separate living zones from private, sleeping spaces.

The vast frameless glass facade, made possible by applying the commercial glazing construction methods used to build skyscrapers, spills aspect and light into the home, inviting the outdoors in and creating a feeling of space and tranquillity.

At street level, the Orb House has a magnificent presence, with its floating steel staircase and privacy screen inviting onlookers in, but revealing little of the sanctuary inside.

Once inside, the house opens up in two directions. To the right are the formal sitting room and the stunning floating steel staircase which leads upstairs to the study. To the left are the dining and living rooms and the kitchen. Overlooking the dining table is a magical painting (Bush Plum) by one of the original Utopia Painters, Polly Ngale. In the kitchen, every conceivable modern amenity has been catered to with its butler's pantry and Miele appliances. The living area features a large gas fire and overlooks the stunning central garden and pool, with its full equipped outdoor kitchen.

Beyond the kitchen leads to the private area of the home - the master bedroom, three further bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, and a teenagers retreat. As you approach the sleeping zone - two wonderful paintings by Pro Hart (Folly Horse) and his son, David Hart (Dragon Fly) adorn the walls.

Behind the scenes, substantial infrastructure has been built into the home to meet its energy and water needs. Hidden rooftop solar panels generate more than 60Kw of power per day - enough power to run the house and deliver excess power back into the electricity grid. Energy efficient glass serves to moderate the house temperature in hot and cold weather and an under-deck water tank supplies the pool, laundry and toilets with their water needs.

Source: www.bojansimicarchitecture.com.au