Ramon Pleysier of isn’t one for architectural jargon. In fact, he is refreshingly matter of fact, and particularly so when discussing how his family came to discover their much loved house. ‘We basically had more kids than we were planning on, so decided that we needed to head back to where I grew up,’ the architect says. After looking for a very long time for something with ‘architectural interest’, this robust, characterful 1960s home came across his path. After the first open inspection, he was smitten. ‘I couldn’t miss this one,’ he recalls. ‘I loved it as soon as I walked in the front door!’
The house, situated in Melbourne’s North Eastern suburb of Templestowe Lower, was built in 1969 by Sibbel builders. ‘I guess it gets thrown into the mid-century modernist bucket,’ Ramon says. ‘Sibbel were a very well respected company around the time of Merchant Builders and Alistair Knox in the area… I assume they were all very healthy competition for each other!’
For Ramon, this is a restoration project. The designer has been careful to ensure no ‘modern-day trends’ have crept into his design response here, instead, he has been committed to delivering a subtle, sensitive upgrade to the original building. All surfaces have been carefully restored, rather than replaced. ‘I would hope that the original designers could walk through and feel no detrimental impact to their original design philosophy,’ he says.
Overall, Ramon, Emily and the kids really value their relaxed, well-designed home, and as an architect, Ramon is especially respectful of the legacy passed on here.
‘I feel a strong sense of responsibility to “do the right thing” to this house,’ Ramon says. ‘Many houses like this have made way for McMansions and duplexs, so I feel very fortunate to act as a custodian of Sibbel’s fine work. I’ve been asked many times, “Why don’t you want to design your own home”… Good question. I like old things, things that have lasted because they are “good”. I have plenty of opportunities to inflict my design ideas on projects – this just isn’t one of them!’