NEW STREET, BRIGHTON

THE BLOCK 2020

GROUP Architects 

Five period homes from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, all in a dire state, have been uprooted and transported to a block of land in the heart of sunny and affluent Brighton in Melbourne

This year’s Block is within walking distance of the beach and minutes from the world- famous Brighton Beach Boxes.

After overcoming all sorts of complex challenges in previous seasons, this year The Block encountered something that could never be planned for: dealing with a global health pandemic.

This will be the season that goes down in history as it captures the first ever shutdown of The Block, and the way the program was able to resume production in a world grappling with the upheaval of COVID-19.

Architect Julian Brenchley has designed the renovations, which maintain the five old period houses and include new two-storey extensions at the rear. Each house now has at least four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a huge kitchen, dining and living area, plus a double garage with a studio.

“This time around we looked at preserving some of the period aspects of each house,” Julian says. “It’s been really interesting to explore five different renovations of five houses because in the past they were all roughly the same design.”

And as if homes this close to the beach don’t already sound good enough, for the first time on The Block each one will also have its own swimming pool.

Photography by Peter Hyatt