When Melbourne and Paris-based architecture firm Ola Studio was tapped to create a suburban single-family home in Melbourne, it based its design around the clients’ love for art as well as the industrial loft-like spaces of converted warehouses they were accustomed to. The end result is a partly gabled home that pays homage to its surrounding local and historic context while exuding an undeniably contemporary appearance. The house, named Ross, is powered using a solar photovoltaic array and also follows passive solar principles to minimize energy use.

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house seen from across the street

the front of the house

Set on a long rectangular lot in a diverse heritage precinct, the Ross house comfortably fits a family of five, their dog and an art collection. The home is split into two floors with the primary living spaces and a single bedroom on the ground floor, while the master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms and a sitting area are stacked above. Outdoor decks flank both sides of the home to encourage indoor-outdoor living; the family also has access to lawn space and a spacious pool.

living room opens up to the outdoors


Ross’ sculptural roofline takes cues from its neighboring structures, both of which are white-painted, single-story period bungalows. The monochromatic color scheme and minimalist material palette is carried over from the exterior to the interior, which serves as a gallery for the client’s art collection.

staircase from living area

small deck with hammock

Related: A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience

“The house is a bold sculptural piece; elegantly defined by its divisible realms,” explain the architects in a project statement. “This includes the public façade and entry, the living area within a secluded garden, and the private realm upstairs, each providing uniquely evocative environments for the public and residents. Upstairs is wrapped in black vertical aluminium angles and is a study in dealing with domestic privacy within the urban environment.”

+ Ola Studio

Images by Derek Swalwell