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House Clad With Black Cypress

An architect and designer have built their own house in Melbourne to house their collection of art, sculpture and furniture. The River House on the banks of the Yarra River was also designed for outdoor activities for the couple’s children. It has a swimming pool and basketball court, as well as a boat deck that gives access to the water.

The River House stands on the site of a 1990s house that Unispace architect Simon Pole and graphic designer Annabel Dundas knocked down to make room for their home. The site, built on a slope of 30 degrees, is divided into terrace levels. The three story home is upstairs and a series of lawns and decks lead down to the river.

The River House is on three levels and is connected by stairs to a central double-height room that houses the majority of the art collection. The top floor overlooks the double height middle floor of the house which is an open entertainment area including a lounge, dining area and open plan kitchen with attached pantry and wine cellar. The main entrance to the house is on the upper level, where the master bedroom with its own bathroom and dressing room is also located. The bottom floor is dedicated to the couple’s children. It has three bedrooms, a media room and a pool table with access to the garden and the river beyond.

The River House is connected to a second building by a covered bridge, which is also clad in cypress trees and is affectionately nicknamed the tree house. The family lived in this converted garage while they were working on the main house. Now the tree house functions as a separate guest house with a kitchenette and a sunken lounge with a fireplace. Upstairs, where the bridge connects, there is a bedroom with a study and a bathroom.

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