Susi Leeton, The Birch Tree House
Susi Leeton graduated with honors in a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Melbourne University. After gaining international experience in Rome and Singapore, she returned to Melbourne and began working on a range of residential, retail and commercial projects. In 1997, Leeton established her office, Susi Leeton Architects and Interiors, where she has creatively explored both urban and rural settings.
Susi Leeton Architects and Interiors is a small practice, located in the South Yarra area of Melbourne, Australia, which focuses on high-end residential projects. The practice encompasses all the disciplines of architecture and interior design: conceptual design, regulatory, town planning, engineering, documentation, and furnishing. Working with clients on a holistic level, the practice ensures design continuity within strict budget parameters throughout the project.
The Birch Tree House is a sculptural, four bedroom, family home approached along a pathway aligned with a row of birch trees. The entry is sheltered within an arch containing an oversized door. The focus of the house is towards the northern wall of large steel sliding doors which open onto the yard with its large oval pool. The volumes of space are soft, sculptural forms that overlap and intersect creating workable family zones both inside and out.
Natural light and soft materials, whose finishes were deliberately refined and tonal, were selected to create a chiaroscuro of light and shade. Texture was a main consideration in the design. Natural limestone, oak timber ﬂooring, polished plaster walls, and linen curtains were the understated palette. The walls of polished concrete create a shimmering effect throughout every space.
Birch Tree House was on the 2020 shortlist for the Australian Interior Design Awards. Construction was done by Visioneer Builders, an Australian award-winning construction group located in Richmond, Victoria Province, which is focused on unique, highly-specified single residences, multi=residential developments and commercial structures.
The photography was done by Felix Mooneeram, a freelance photographer from the United Kingdom with a focus on design, architecture and lifestyles, and Nicole England, a Melbourne-based architecture and interiors photographer who has worked with many of the industry’s top architects and designers worldwide.