Ned Kelly childhood home garden in Beveridge wins award

There was also bluestone edging, a bluestone-lined well, cracked concrete and weathered, mossy bricks, all of which were kept to imbue the garden with what Warner describes as a sense of “an evolving and ongoing history”. An existing willow tree, two cherry plums and a couple of patches of vinca were also preserved to evoke times past.

Old concrete introduces layers of texture.

Old concrete introduces layers of texture.Credit: Ben Wrigley

But these old elements were paired with unashamedly new elements that feel pared back and subtle. The latest incursions play up the textures and character of what was there before.

The old concrete and brick paving now sits alongside chunky gravel, the retained trees and shrubs are now surrounded by relaxed feeling grasses, wattles and wildflowers, and the entire site is bound by contemporary square picket fencing.

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Old bluestone edging has been paired with gravel.Credit: Ben Wrigley

A stockpile of bluestone found on site has been used to construct a formal arrangement of raised vegetable beds, positioned in the same spot as photographs suggest a vegetable garden had existed before. But the swale that has been established – to improve drainage – around the block’s perimeter is an entirely new development. It has been filled with Indigenous species that can cope with the intermittently wet and dry conditions, plants that would have been present before European settlement, and that possibly remained in the Kelly’s time too.


The whole effect feels resilient in the face of our changing climate and, while there are strong links to the past, the garden doesn’t feel out of place in what is now an urban growth corridor.

In Kelly’s day, this area was harsh farming country, but new houses and roads are steadily moving closer

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Modern inner city concrete home references local history and character


This classic inner-city terrace house has been reinterpreted in a stunning marriage of materials, textures and colours in Sydney’s Potts Point.

Brougham Place reflects the owners’ passion for the work of renowned Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier – famous for his use of concrete – as well as their love of the rough grain of their inner-city locale.

The Challenge

The task of bringing these two inspirations together was handed over to award-winning Smart Design Studio.

Their design consists of two distinct dwellings – conceived as off-form concrete boxes supported by sandstone plinths – separated by a private central courtyard. The concrete forms feature large openings dressed with an array of multi-coloured aluminium louvre blades.

“There were cost efficiencies in not having to go back and dress over the concrete finishes, but we also wanted to keep it authentic,” says architect William Smart.

“I like concrete for its honesty, its texture and richness. Our approach (to concrete) has always been to use it in a very precise way. We don’t think of it as industrial or rough, but as a special material.”


Although in every way a modern dwelling, Brougham Place subtly references the history and character of its neighbourhood. From the street it presents like a terrace house, with blade elements on each side and open in the middle; the sandstone used for the plinths has been excavated from the site and the original dwelling; and the coloured louvres draw off a palette of local heritage colours.

The larger front dwelling contains the owners’ home and office, with the workspace on the ground floor and living in the upper two floors. The rear building houses a garage with a studio apartment above.

The central courtyard extends the composition of the internal planning to the outside, with

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