Mortlake Residence – A Contemporary Classic By the River

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Build Biz

The riverfront suburb of Mortlake in Sydney’s inner west is a fitting locale for this striking “dream home”. Situated on a slim slice of land in one of the suburb’s most sought-after streets, the dwelling marries compact, modern design with understated luxury.


The result of collaboration between architecture and interiors consultancy Pirrello Design Associates and well regarded local builder Build Biz, the home features a Scyon Stria™ façade, from the Scyon Walls™ range.

It is a popular façade material for contemporary homes where a crisp, classic feel is sought, making it perfect for this modern build.

“We were looking for a sleek contemporary feel and a solution which was compatible with the client’s budget,” Pirrello says.

Fire resistant, fibre cement cladding which comes in a range of lengths, Scyon Stria features a horizontal, ship-lapped joint which resembles traditional timber.

A long-time fan of the Scyon range, principal building designer Angelo Pirrello liaised with JH Scyon’s building advisory service before casting his vote for Stria. The service provides expert input to construction professionals about the vendor’s range of premium building materials.

“The Scyon range – in particular the Stria product – met the criteria for this design. It wasn’t a hard decision – we’ve specified Scyon Stria on several homes to date, including my own, and used its sister product, Scyon Axon™, on a couple of award winning projects in Sydney.

“Scyon make premium products which are tried and tested and the results speak for themselves.”

stria-modern-exterior-jameshardie-4 Scyon Stria was the perfect choice for bringing a crisp, modern look to this home.


Working with Scyon Stria on the Mortlake project proved a savvy decision, economically as well as aesthetically.

“There was a major cost saving as a result of using Stria rather than brickwork,” Pirrello says.

Scyon Walls cladding can typically be installed around 25 per cent faster than rendered and painted blocks or traditional timber boards. That spells good news for builders, for whom time is money, and clients to whom the savings can be passed.

The narrowness of the block saw the material come into its own, according to Pirrello.

Lightweight construction using timber framed walls and concrete based cladding can deliver significantly more internal space than a rendered brickwork frame, across the same external footprint.

“It made perfect sense to construct with timber walls and Stria,” Pirrello says. “We were able to maximise the living area for the client – concrete based cladding allowed us to give Jacqui more bang for less buck.

It was through a combination of clever design, industry expertise and an eye for suitable products that Pirrello was able to overcome a testing design brief.

“Meeting the design brief was challenging, given the dimensions of the land, but having this extra leeway meant I was less constrained in the design process and could be more imaginative with respect to the placement of cantilevers and first floor walls.”

“Scyon make premium products which are tried and tested and the results speak for themselves.” ANGELO PIRRELLO

Modern home with seamless indoor/outdoor transition A seamless indoor/outdoor transition is the hallmark of any modern home.


The home offers ample options for family living and entertaining.

Entry is at ground level, via a generous reception hall. The lower storey houses formal and informal living areas, where high ceilings, neutral colours and polished Blackbutt floors give the impression of abundant light and space.

A sleek, lavishly appointed kitchen in white and stainless steel takes the inside out, via a bi-folding window which provides access to a barbecue area and al fresco dining space.

The lower level also houses a single garage with storage space, commodious laundry and guest bathroom. A courtyard abutting the home’s informal living room offers a shady retreat from the afternoon rays.

Upstairs, there are four well-proportioned bedrooms, the master with walk-in robe and luxury ensuite, a generous bathroom featuring standalone bath and premium tapware and a cosy family rumpus room.

High ceilings, neutral colours and polished Jarrah floors give the impression of abundant light and space.


Does the home fulfil the brief provided to Pirrello and Build Biz?

As always, yes. Pirrello’s industry knowledge and creative thinking helped bring the design to life, along with the right materials.

“We absolutely love the [Scyon] range, and so do our clients,” he says. “Past clients are more than happy for people to visit their homes and appreciate the product in the flesh!”

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