Modern Pool and Courtyard Round Out Edwardian Home. Quite Literally.

modern luxury home with circle theme

The Kennedy Nolan Caroline House is an award-winning renovation and addition to a residential home in Melbourne. Challenged with reinvigorating an Edwardian family house, Kennedy Nolan architects added a swimming pool and pavilion in its courtyard. The result is a sophisticated and stylish residence that balances elegance and comfort with repeated round and curved forms.

Kennedy Nolan Caroline House

Kennedy Nolan Caroline House

The 3390 sqft (315 square meters) residential home had both restorations to the existing home and additions to the property, with the swimming pool serving as the central element. There’s a repeated motif of circles throughout the home.

CarolineHouse pool overhead

The perfectly round shape of the swimming pool is echoed by the building’s many curved walls, arched interior doorways, window frames and the round porthole windows throughout the home.

Kennedy Nolan Caroline House

Look closely at surfaces from the kitchen counters to the stairway bannister and you’ll find very few right angles. Most everything is curved or has rounded edges.

The Kitchen:
modern kitchen

caroline house kitchen

kitchen design

The Living Room:
living room

Kennedy Nolan Caroline House

The Bedrooms:
Caroline House bedroom duo

The following text is courtesy of the architects:
This project is an alteration and addition to a weatherboard Edwardian house in inner Melbourne. The rear of the house faces south, where there is a generous garden. We restored and re-imagined the existing house and added a pavilion which is separated from the original building by an internal courtyard containing a swimming pool. This rather conventional approach is enlivened by displacing expectations of the backyard extension. This was done through a whimsical formal approach, a balanced relationship between garden and interior space and a detailed and nuanced approach to texture, colour and pattern.

interior design

interior decor

interior design

luxury home

Although the brief for the project does not challenge the paradigm of the family house in terms of accommodation requirements, our Clients wanted this accommodation to be delivered in an expressive, engaging and memorable fashion. The most fundamental element of the brief is probably the swimming pool. The challenge of integrating swimming pools into domestic environments increases every year with new regulations which break down the immediacy of proximity to water.

The Pool:
Caroline House pool detail duo

Kennedy Nolan Caroline House

Our solution is a central pool zone which incorporates a pool gate in the facade of the building. The pool deliberately challenges regular notions – it is round, it is compact, it is deep, it is dark. The pool is imagined for year round use, swimming in summer, a dark pond reflecting the facade in winter. The proximity of water to the interior is immediate and dramatic with the sense that the edge of the building plunges into a deep pool. These effects are deliberate and aspire to creating a setting which is poetic and evocative without being specific – an environment redolent of things our city and in our imagination.

The Bath:
arched interior doorway

CarolineHouse bathroom

The design approach of the Caroline House is best characterized by an eccentric formal quality which accommodates the complex program of a family home efficiently and comfortably. Functional aspects are not compromised by the playful forms – the courtyard is able to fulfill the conventional requirements of passive solar design: cross ventilation, north orientation to rear rooms and multiple garden aspects. The inclusion of a swimming pool in the courtyard augments its function – having a decorative presence all year round, but also providing evaporative cooling effects in summer. The principle curved wall allows for a layered and nuanced interior and a dramatic and compelling exterior space. The first floor is monolithically clad in charred timber as a counterpoint to the abstracted planes of white brickwork and includes a balcony using the principles of the Jali – a sequestered zone with veiled views. A meticulous and complete approach to the interior allies old rooms to the new and results in a narrative experience which provides moments of delight and discovery within a singular aesthetic.

The Courtyard:


This architecture is unexpected formally and visually, playfully referencing many things in our collective memory whilst avoiding the specific so that new memories can be created.

Architects: Kennedy Nolan
Builder: Overend Constructions
Landscape: Amanda Oliver Gardens
Photos: Derek Swalwell
• 2019 AIA National + Victorian Architecture Awards: Winner ‘Residential architecture – houses (alterations & additions)’
• 2019 Belle Interior Design Awards: Winner ‘Best residential kitchen design’
• 2019 Dulux Colour Awards: Winner ‘Residential interior’
• 2019 Inside Out Awards: Winner ‘House of the year’

all images and information courtesy of Kennedy Nolan