Through a glass, darkly: the strangest house in my suburb

Glasshouse4I’ve been watching with great interest as this house has risen out of a very small block in my Melbourne suburb of Northcote. All the other houses in the street are period styles, mostly Victorian and mostly renovated. I suspect most have a heritage overlay and have to keep their frontage in line with the original style.

Glasshouse 5

So this new glass house looks bizarre in the street. I actually quite like it—for a raised location with coastal or city or botanical garden or river views. But this street is in a dip. The only views are of the road and the neighbours’ houses. Also, the houses are all close together in this street: if you lived in the glass house, you would have to keep your blinds closed day and night, unless you wanted everyone to be able to look in on you. Then again, perhaps it will be a Big Brother-like experiment.

It’s surprising that the council approved the plans—usually people in streets of renovated Victorian houses seem to want everyone else to adhere to their style too and would have complained when given the opportunity.

On the other hand, shouldn’t you be able to build whatever you like on your own property? And what’s wrong with being a little (or a lot) different to others? It reminds me of this wonderful piece of needlework a friend made for me:


I’d be interested in readers’ opinions. Do you think this house is exciting and innovative, or just wrong? You be the judge.

9 thoughts on “Through a glass, darkly: the strangest house in my suburb

  1. I think he’s just being ahead of his time. I think they could put a film (I don’t know what they call it) so people from the outside could not see you but you can view them. I kind of like the house.

    • Yes, or those blinds that are automated and that you can see out of but people can’t see in. I can’t help thinking, though, that it’s a shame this house didn’t have lovely views for the people to look at, or lots of trees around it so they could feel like they lived in a tree house. There’s not even any room for trees on the block.

  2. I can’t understand the attraction of so much glass,it seems like the owners are trying to be modern for the sake of it.It doesn’t strike me as a home but more like a showpiece.On a practical level you lose wallspace and privacy, for what?I agree that in the right context this house would make more sense.It’s just ,so very out of context,it looks silly….maybe they’ll use it as greenhouse,that would work:))

  3. Pingback: Update: Through a glass darkly: the strangest house in my suburb | The Crayon Files

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