Manning Rd
Malvern East


We were tasked with conducting a complete transformation of this run down Federation home, in collaboration with Cera Stribley Architects. The client needed a team who could execute a shared vision and delicately balance a fresh, modern look alongside the original heritage design.

We took the utmost care and attention to detail during the project to ensure that the original heritage foundations were not compromised, despite the understandable desire for luxurious, updated features internally. The client’s ambitious brief also included a double-storey car stacker, break out spaces for every family member, a luxurious parents’ wing, a wine cellar, and an interconnected living and outdoor area, which flowed seamlessly together.

The project presented a number of initial challenges, including difficulty gaining access to the rear of the site to install the car stacker and pool. We also incorporated a number of exceptional design characteristics within the home, which required expert skill to execute, such as an innovative curved shower in the ensuite, the creation of a purpose-built conservatory in the kitchen, and an air-conditioned wine cellar beneath a hidden hatch door.


This magnificent home is the perfect fusion of new-meets-old. Heritage features blend harmoniously with sophisticated, modern touches, propelling this residence into the current century. We also modified the overall design of the home to bathe it in light and create spaces that were infinitely more liveable. Additionally, the latest technological features and unique design elements guarantee that this home will make a lasting impression for years to come.

The car stacker and wine cellar required a complex feat of engineering to perfect, as they were built below the water table, involving the removal of over fifty trucks of spoil from the site to make space for it. Meanwhile, we transformed the kitchen and dining area into a conservatory to create spectacular views of the surrounding Ben Scott-designed garden through the glass. The space is now awash with light, and protrudes into the garden, bridging the gap between the comfort of the indoors and the beauty of the natural world. To achieve this connection, we raised the height of the windows and floor, creating an uninterrupted visual transition.

To achieve the curved shower, we partnered with Cera Stribley Architects to ensure we maintained the integrity of the design while creating a highly functional space. The result of our teamwork was a shower screen with glass that can retract into the curved wall without comprising on waterproofing, eliminating the need for a blade to protrude from the wall.

“We had approached two other builders before being introduced to Fortem Projects. We wanted to commence our build as soon as possible, and Fortem gave us the opportunity to do this and make selections along the way, while ensuring our timeline and budget were adhered to. We found the Fortem team to be friendly, professional and ready to go above and beyond to bring our design to life. We would recommend them to anyone looking to undertake a heritage restoration or extension.

Ben Cooper, Client

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“Fortem knew the job inside out, bringing a commercial mind to managing all the details and always delivering a resolution. Their online app, Procore, kept everyone updated in real time.”

Chris Stribley, Cera Stribley Architects

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2021 Victorian Master Builders and HIA-CSR Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards Winner

Renovation / Addition Project
$2.5 million – $5 million

Renovated Bathroom of the Year

Renovated Bathroom
$30,001 – $50,000

Best Bathroom over $30,000

Best Kitchen over $40,000

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