A Sunny Alistair Knox Mudbrick Home Hits The Market In Montrose

When art director and university lecturer Juliet John was searching for a house to buy 13 years ago, she was ‘strictly’ looking in Fitzroy and Collingwood only.

That was until, on her way to visit a friend in Mt Dandenong, she had a passing thought; ‘where does the Mt Dandenong Tourist road lead to?’

On a whim she looked it up online and discovered ‘the little known suburb of Montrose’. A quick search on realestate.com followed, revealing ‘the most amazing home’ for sale.

Not only was it significantly cheaper than those she’d been considering in Fitzory, but it was also designed by renowned architect Alistair Knox and it sat on 2.5 acres of garden surrounded by bush.

‘When I realised that in off-peak traffic I could get to Fitzroy in just over 35 minutes, the decision was made,’ says Juliet.

She’s only the second owner of the light-filled mudbrick home, designed in 1975 by Alistair Knox for local school teacher Linda Vague.

In keeping with the architect’s signature style, the home is made from locally sourced reclaimed materials, slate floors and hand-made bricks — all designed to connect the house with the surrounding landscape.

Linda, who was also an artist and keen gardener, collected materials from the surrounding metro area and her wider travels around Australia for the build.

Large recycled timbers used for the post and beam construction were sourced from the old Brunswick pottery, whilst the lead light windows were a find from Tasmania and the decorative glass window was made by a local artist.

The original house remains largely untouched, the only new addition is the 49 square-metre deck extending off the living space with its 6.5 metre north facing windows.

‘It’s incredibly sunny,’ says Juliet of the double height windows that invite sun in all day long to heat up the slate floors. ‘It acts as a thermal mass designed to release the heat overnight.’

In addition to the verdant views framed in every window and the texture of the building materials Juliet says she loves that, ‘the building itself is such a work of art and so inherently decorative.’

It goes without saying the new owners of this considered home will fall in love with it as quickly as Juliet did.

‘This house is a real hidden gem,’ she says. ‘I’ll miss the relaxed and inspiring feeling of living in such a well-designed space everyday… You could live without art on the walls because the view through every window is so beautiful. On a misty-mountain morning, it’s just amazing.’

4 Browns rd, Montrose, VIC, is listed for sale with Ryan Bell and Georgia Spencer at Bell Real Estate.  

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