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The Tree House

The stunning design and location provides a sympathetic design in the heart of Toorak

BUILDER | Iurada Construction

ARCHITECT | Chris Exner, Rothelowman

LOCATION | Toorak, Melbourne


PHOTOGRAPHER | Kit Haselden Photography Pty Ltd

Iurada is a relatively young but fast growing inner Melbourne construction company. The team have delivered an impressive project list over the past decade, both as builders and developers. They're also an award winning construction company, taking out the 2016 Victorian Master Builders award for best mulit-unit development over 12 units. They deliver both residential and commercial projects across Melbourne.

The Tree House development of 18 boutique one-and-two bedroom apartments presented some interesting challenges, which Dan Iurada, one of the directors, details below. 

Q. Did you have any specific site construction challenges considering the prestige location (neighbours, council) and how were they overcome? 

The large plane trees at the front of the site proved to be the big challenge with craning in materials as they were one of the signature elements of the project. The other major challenge was building on a tight site between two existing buildings. Initially, neighbours were very much against the project due to their proximity of the construction site. We mitigated this as much as we could and ensured a fast construction time and as little impact as practicable. However, once completed they were really happy with the end result, especially as a real focus was protecting the surrounding trees, so they were presented with a sympathetic design that was integrated into the existing tree line.

The importance of maintaining the trees is self evident here.

Q. One of the key features of the The Tree House is obviously the importance of the surrounding flora. Was that a challenge to protect during construction and did you have to make specific allowances for that?

During the construction process we were required to take extra care of the plane trees that were situated at the front of the site. Tree protection is extremely important in the City of Stonnington and as such, builders need to have a tree protection plan in place. This is factored into the planning, and while it’s important to the council, it’s also really important to the local residents as we aim to create spaces that work with the local surrounds rather than in stark contrast. 

Q. The external material choice is quite unique from a visual and functional point of view. Tell us a little about what was used and what specific construction challenges that created?

One of the main features of the building is the screening on the balconies. The inspiration behind the patterns of the operable screens on the balconies were the leaves of the plane trees. The screens being openable allows for residents to either open their balcony to enjoy the views of Toorak or close the screens to enjoy privacy on their balcony and extend the whole areas to become part to the living area. This sort of design approach allows for a much more flexible living space but also allows a sense of open space too. 

Smart use of space and design with the operable screening system with luxury Miele appliances.

Q. You’ve worked with Rothelowman across several developments now. Does this ongoing relationship deliver additional benefits for new projects?

We’ve now worked closely with Rothelowman on two of their designed buildings which has given us the knowledge and skills to be able to deliver a product that displays their design quality and attention to detail. It just makes it easier as we go along as we’ve built trust in each others' process and this helps to ensure the building phase is done without major issues, which can throw out construction times and cause blow outs for the developers. 

The outside facade inspired by the leaves of the surrounding flora

Q. The Tree House was a winner of a Master Builders award. What were some of the judges specific comments that led to the win? 

Quality of the build and portraying the design intent of the architects.

Q. Do strong relationships with specific suppliers help to deliver the project on time and to budget? 

Definitely. Suppliers and subcontractors play a big role in the delivery of a quality product. Buildings are man-made out in the elements so the importance of having a quality team is huge. 

Some of the luxury finishes in the apartments

Q. Any final comments about what makes the project unique?


Being in Toorak makes anything look good!!

Thanks Dan, good luck with your next project.

From left, Daniel, Benjamin and Alfred Iurada

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