Is this Melbourne's coolest pad?

Design: Is this Melbourne’s coolest digs?


Architect John Henry and his wife Deb Ganderton have built their dream home in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Eltham. It’s a mind-boggling 1,000 cubic metre space, with 6.5 metre high walls. John and Deb bought the block of land for $105,000 in 1998. Then they spent around $250,000 building the house running out of money several times and hitting many road blocks along the way.

Christened the Research House, this luxurious and dreamy space is the synthesis of John’s favourite styles from around the world. It’s a pick n’mix of vivid influences taken from John’s career spanning four decades. A lot of the art is  influenced by the aesthetic of the 60’s and features plenty of OpArt 

‘Featherston House (1967) by Robin Boyd and Paul Rudolph’s office Manhattan (1965) were the most influential factors on my concept, and I added all the other things I liked to those inspirations’ he explains.

The furniture, collected over a lifetime, is John’s most prized collection. ‘I love all of it,’ he says. ‘Trying to say which is your favourite is like picking a favourite child. They are all my favourites!’

John’s the first to admit that his home does have its challenges. ‘It gets hot in summer and it can get cold in the winter’ he laments. During Springtime, the house is at its best, with natural light streaming in, and an endless parade of native birds beyond the windows. ‘It’s like a treehouse, you feel like you are up in the tree tops with all the birds,’ John describes. ‘We have all sorts here – King Parrots, Sparrow Hawks, Kookaburras and Cockatoos in beautiful, bright colours. I never appreciated them all until I lived in this home.’

I just love the way this looks with all of the light filled spaces, plants and bright colours.

Read more on The Design Files


Leave a Reply