Inside the Japanese retreat at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra

Behind the unique front of this 1950s home lies a spectacular ‘Japanese retreat’ – complete with a dreamy bathroom sanctuary, modern decor and an airy open plan living area perfect for entertaining

  • An architect has created an epic oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street
  • The one-of-a-kind home at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham was inspired by Japanese interior design
  • Made from Australian-sourced recycled materials, it has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a four-car garage
  • Standout features include a bath clad in Tasmanian oak and a grass-watering system controlled from an app
  • The outdoor deck is made out of timber salvaged from a basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport
  • So unique is the design that the home is nominated for the 2020 Master Builders Association Housing Awards

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An architect has transformed a 1950s brick cottage into a unique oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street.

Redesigned in collaboration between construction firm MegaFlora and architect Blake O’Neill, the one-of-a-kind two-storey at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham, in the capital’s leafy north, was inspired by the owners’ love of Japanese interiors which are simple but always of the highest quality craftsmanship.

Built from recycled materials sourced across New South Wales and the ACT, the four-bedroom house – which took three years to complete – has sustainability etched into every corner.

The outdoor entertainment deck is made out of timber salvaged from an old basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport, while a whopping 680 metres of repurposed hardwood battens run along the ceiling alone.

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The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra, which has been transformed into a unique four-bed home

The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra, which has been transformed into a unique four-bed home

Spacious living areas with towering ceilings and a north-facing kitchen which opens onto the terrace are spread over 292 square metres, along with a master bedroom complete with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite with two showers.

‘The open plan design of the master bedroom and ensuite makes it feel generous but the use of darker colours and a high level window which captures the street trees helps to create a sense of intimacy and privacy,’ architect Blake O’Neill told Daily Mail Australia.

A wooden bathtub clad in recycled Tasmanian oak is the centre-piece of the master bathroom which is flooded with natural light and covered in handmade floor-to-ceiling finger tiles – a traditional interior trend in the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.  

The north-facing kitchen has sliding doors which open onto the outdoor entertainment deck, made from recycled timber

The north-facing kitchen has sliding doors which open onto the outdoor entertainment deck, made from recycled timber

Four bedrooms (one pictured) are spread over the 292 square metre house

Handmade finger tiles (pictured) are fixed to the walls of the two bathrooms

Four bedrooms (one pictured left) and two bathrooms fitted with handmade Japanese finger tiles (right) are spread over the 292 square metre house

Custom features include a steel fireplace (pictured) and recycled hardwood battens which run along the ceiling

Custom features include a steel fireplace (pictured) and recycled hardwood battens which run along the ceiling

Other custom features include a steel frame encasing the brick fireplace and an

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