The renovation of this Brunswick Street House by Carr Architecture effortlessly combines a refined industrial aesthetic with traditional Victorian architecture, locate in Fitzroy is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. In many ways, the story behind this inner-city renovation is a common one: a young family had spent the past five years living in a dark two-storey terrace and wanted to make it lighter and more accommodating for their two young children.
Although inner-urban projects of this type usually stick to a formula, Carr’s approach is far from generic. While the floorplan of the house is what one might expect, the subtle detailing and robust forms reveal a deep consideration and design intellect.
Behind an idyllic heritage-listed facade is a spatial arrangement typical of the period: a formal living room and study are arranged off a hallway at the front, before opening up to an open plan kitchen, dining and living area typical of contemporary terrace refurbishments.
The treatment of an existing light well ensures an engaging connection between the old and new sections of the house. From the study it also offers views through to the rear garden and living spaces.
The semi-industrial detailing of the immediate vicinity is referenced in the steel framed windows and projecting steel canopies. The architectural expression of projecting steel portals serve to limit the penetration of the western sun.
The palette is intentionally achromic with natural timber, calacutta marble to ebonized veneer providing a backdrop to the owner’s contemporary art collection.
Framed and borrowed views, guided by a refined industrial aesthetic are rooted in the Fitzroy context whist being true to Carr Design principles.
Photos: Michael Gazzola
Hewlett Street House is a contemporary family residence that has been designed by MPR Design Group, located in Bronte, a beachside suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The underlying design intent was to explore the notion of “prospect and refuge” within a family house and then to apply the idea to a specific site near Bronte Beach.
The “prospect” were the constantly changing beach and coast views to the south of the site. The “refuge” was the other contrasting character where we created introspective spaces that provide a sense of sanctuary and enclosure.
These two driving desires for the house were accommodated through devising two sculpted concrete forms responding to their particular use and orientation. The forms are rounded at the edges similar to tubes which are independent of each other enabling the upper tube to twist towards the view while the lower tube orientates to the street.
The upper tube containing the living spaces is open ended and carved out which allows the northern winter sun to penetrate deeply into the space while allowing an unimpeded outlook to the southern view. The form also provides efficient passive ventilation drawing the prevailing nor’ east breeze through the house.
The house boldly sits as a modern insertion into the typically poor building stock of its surrounding environment. The context is of varying building styles, scales and materials so the house creates a deliberate contrast in form and color. The homogenous appearance of the house allows the forms to be emphasized by sun and shadow with the play of light continually shifting and moving with the path of the sun.
On the two lower levels the character of the spaces changes to places of privacy and refuge. The middle tube houses the bedrooms, each with a different aspect and outlook. The lower level has a cave like atmosphere with the room formed by a cut bedrock wall and a dark stone floor connecting the internal and external spaces. The pool provides a water element spanning between the rock wall and the garden.
Photos: Courtesy of MPR Design Group
Chambers Street Residence is a three story property encompassing beautifully composed spaces designed by Mim Design, located in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The interiors of this meticulously designed residence focuses on superior finishes and detailing throughout to showcase a highly effective planning and design strategy.
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An abundance of light filters throughout all levels, from the master bedroom and en-suite down to the lounge, dining and kitchen which flows out on to an entertainers courtyard. Locally sourced handmade brick tiles span the 3 levels adjacent to the staircase to provide a vertical integration feature.
Stone throughout bathrooms and kitchen add a softness to the strong monochromatic palette. Efficient use of space throughout the living zone creates a well-proportioned, comfortable and clean lined interior.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Moor Street Residence is a contemporary renovation for a family of four, designed by Andrew Maynard Architects, located in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The family had lived in this modest, aging house for almost eight years. As the children neared their teenage years something had to be done. Abandoning their home and moving elsewhere was not an option as the family was an important part of a thriving community. The tricky yet fun part of this home re-design was creating a new house in a narrow plot of only 4.5 meters.
Within this pocket of Fitzroy is a dense mix of workers’ cottages and small terraces. All are modest in size, many are dark and cold. Many of the cottages and terraces are in original condition, with a simple facade hiding an assemblage of brick and weatherboard lean-tos in the rear yard looking onto bluestone laneways. These lean-tos create a mesh of detailed and varying volumes, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the street front. When building in the rear of a property in this context, facing onto the laneway, one is acutely aware of the smallness and texture of the existing built form. Within this context the burden is on the designer is to respond to the assemblage of small volumes while also maximizing the potentials of the owners’ brief.
As Fitzroy has gentrified we have seen renewal take place in unsympathetic ways. There are numerous examples of this assemblage of dark brick and weatherboard being replaced with large contemporary objects that dominate its context. The tactic at Moor Street was to maximise the interior functions and available space, while also responding to the context by creating a single building out of three small objects rather than a single contemporary monolith. The tired lean-to which housed the kitchen, bathroom, dining and laundry were removed. These functions were relocated and updated along with the addition of a master bedroom over. The original brick terrace was retained, tidied and brought back to life.
In the center of the original house was a small light well containing a beautiful, yet constrained, Japanese maple tree. The family often found themselves conversing through this lightwell. Conversations took place, through the maple, from upstairs bedroom to kitchen opposite, to study space and even the bathroom. The maple was retained and the lightwell expanded and surrounded in glass, bringing the tree into the living spaces. The conversations between spaces and levels, through the maple, are better and easier than ever.
The separate boxes on the upper level contain the master bedroom. This space is surrounded by the canopy of the maple to the south and the canopy of a large gum tree to the north, making the master bedroom feel much like a treehouse. Through the gum’s canopy are views over Fitzroy, revealing the detailed assemblage of the brick and weatherboard lean-tos of the surrounding workers’ cottages and small terraces.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
Fairfield Hacienda is a stunning contemporary dwelling that was the vision of MRTN Architects, located on the fringe of Melbourne, Australia’s inner suburbs. The new family home sits in an established residential street of Victorian villas and Californian bungalows. From the street, the angled roof home seems to fit into the landscape of single-level homes, effortlessly picking up the street’s original pattern of hipped and gabled roof forms. A closer look however, reveals that this new house sits unusually behind a sunny, walled courtyard. This room without a roof, except for a sheltering courtyard tree, is an extension of the living and dining spaces that open onto it.
The enclosed courtyard is located to the north of the house and creates a buffer between the street and the house allowing the living spaces to open up to and access northern light and warmth.
The front wall of the courtyard matches the front setback of the adjacent neighbors. In holding the typical front setback of houses along the street, and setting the house to the south, a sun filled outdoor area is created that can be used as a living, dining or play area. The courtyard space also becomes a semi-public space allowing interaction between the owners and local passerby’s; responding to the owner’s desire that the house engage with the established residents in the area.
The concrete block walls of the courtyard continue without interruption through the house’s main living areas. These walls remain unchanged except for the patina. Outside they are rough and weathered, but become polished and honed once inside. The design is not precious of the courtyard walls; eventually vines and creepers will take over the exterior concrete block and create a walled garden that will change by season.
The living spaces are covered with an undulating canopy of cedar, a warm blanket of timber. From the exterior the roof form relates to the neighboring roof geometries along the street but from inside the roof dips and rises to define the dining, kitchen and living spaces below. The timber ceiling is kept clear of down lights and services; all lighting is provided by concealed perimeter uplighting, at night the roof appears to float over the masonry walls below.
Beyond the living spaces the private zones of the house are arranged as two wings, a parents wing and a children’s wing, that wrap around a small courtyard. This central planted courtyard provides light and ventilation to the center of the house. Currently parents and young children can see each other through this void but over time planting will create greater privacy for older children.
The owners’ brief was to create a long-term family home, somewhere they could become a part of the street and its ongoing history. The Fairfield Hacienda sits comfortably within its local context while creating a contemporary light filled home that is orientated to the north and provides a variety of spaces to live in, both inside and out.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
This terrace house renovation has been designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects, located in Paddington, a suburb of east of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Faced with the age old problems presented by much loved terrace housing – damp, dark and introverted – the architects sought to create a luminous space to give a full family a much needed dose of vitamin D. Introducing some fluid lines with a light filled stairwell at the center and a sun drenched kitchen and living at the rear, the new configuration of old and new proves an enriching experience.
An awning at the rear allows the living area to be shaded or bathed in light.
Family room features bold colors and rich textures.
Accustomed to muted tones, and a subtle palette, a much needed spring was put in our step by the bold use of colors, delphinium blues, cadmium yellows, beautiful artworks, exotic patterns and rich textures carefully selected by the interior designer in residence, Heidi Correa. The lush landscaping at the rear provides a verdant backdrop to family life. The final result knocked even us off our feet.
Grooved lining boards bring a touch of Palm Beach to Paddington.
Bright colors pop against white walls and cabinetry.
The stair draws light to the heat of the home.
Bent wood chairs relax around an Eero Saarinen tulip table.
Cool colors and a variety of textures emphasized by the white backdrop.
Wallpaper adds texture to the powder room.
A large pendant light over the bedside table.
Marble mosaic and terracotta tiles in the ensuite.
Sunny Breakfast nook.
Living room opens onto the rear deck.
Lush foliage by Secret Gardens.
Heidi Correa, resident interior designer.
Photos: Justin Alexander
The art apartment is a bright and colorfully decorated small apartment design, which was the creative vision of Arent&Pyke, located in Sydney, Australia. Central to the design approach was the understanding of working with young families which we the designer’s do often in their practice. They responded with a palette and design that created a fresh, bold and brave stylistic and practical harmony. A carefully balanced palette of materials starting with a solid neutral base for major furnishing items which was layered with decorative objects to nurture a sense of intimacy and well-lived-in connection with the space. Finally a significant installation of Australian artworks from Artbank celebrates the legacy of treasured objects which we accrue over our lifetimes and the much-loved tradition of passing art through family generations.
As a multi-disciplinary and award-winning interior design practice, Arent&Pyke honor a simple yet clear vision – to enrich people’s lives by creating beautiful and cohesive spaces to which they feel emotionally connected. With a focus on residential interiors, Arent&Pyke’s body of work is testament to our ability to clearly articulate our vision. A palette of natural materials and a sensitive and sophisticated use of color and lighting typify our practice’s work that draws upon the combined experience of not just the team, but the artisans and suppliers with whom we collaborate. We are influenced by realms such as travel and literature, and have an unwavering appreciation for design in all its guises, a respect of architecture and acute attention to detail.
This bold graphic print wallpaper is by Anna Spiro, from Porters Paints.
Photos: Scott Hawkins