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Invermay Grove, Rosanna


The owners of this block faced a not-uncommon dilemma. As recent empty nesters, their family home no longer met their needs. They were uncertain whether to sell – or stay-put and redevelop. As with most property decisions, commercial considerations were key. To help them compare options, Marcus O’Reilly Architects prepared a feasibility study for two houses on the site. On the basis of initial plans, the owners decided to redevelop with a view to selling one house and living in the other.

Each home was designed with its own street address, good solar access and light, garden aspects and long views. They are both single-storey – a challenge on the steeply sloping site. Natural materials and textures predominate, and the houses are energy efficient due in part to the thermal mass of the southern wall. With garden all around, each room has a green outlook.

The owners were delighted with the result and had a hard time deciding which house to keep. The rear home has a secluded garden, access to nearby shops, and its own winding, landscaped lane. Ultimately they opted for the front house which has long views to the hills . The second house set a record for a house in the area – demonstrating that good design can pay.

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