Conceived as an extension to a single-fronted Victorian terrace in the Melbourne suburb of Middle Park, this project illustrates how considered orientation, materiality and clever spatial planning can enhance liveability and accentuate connection.
We embraced a collaborative approach, working alongside Chan Architecture and APC Build, to maximise space and natural light, achieving a significant amount within the confines of a small lot. This deep consideration for space and natural light was the guiding principle in achieving openness and connection. A durable and tactile palette of materials are employed consistently throughout the home, with pops of steely blues in the kitchen and living areas, while soft greens grace the bathrooms.
This collaborative effort to deliver a project with an emphasis on artisanship is most clearly demonstrated in the rear extension where the open-plan kitchen, dining and living space had to deliver a lot within a relatively small footprint. These spaces not only needed to be aesthetically interesting, they also had to be hard-working and highly-functional for this young family. The U-shaped kitchen is tucked into the building, overlooking the backyard, while the benchtop sweeps around in an organic motion, encouraging circulation and creating space for stools. This clever design works in harmony with the architecture; it carves out intimate pockets within an open and connected space, allowing for a generously sized living and dining area too.
We wanted to embrace a level of translucency with the location of the stairs, to help make the spaces feel as big as possible and enabling a cross pollination of light from one to the next. To do this, we introduced perforated metal to the stair and first floor balustrades. Feeling a bold gesture was needed for the wall behind the staircase, we opted for blue painted V-groove wall panelling. By combining light with the vertical nature of this panelling we encourage people to look up, which punctuates the connection between the ground and first floors.
The space beneath the stairs houses a custom wall-mounted unit with perforated metal doors. In raising this off the ground we were able to maintain that feeling of generosity of space, while considering the practicalities and requirements of a family with young kids. The joinery throughout is, in many ways, rudimentary and elemental yet warm with interest and intrigue.
While applied at the minute scale of joinery, in fact, this pared-back approach epitomises the design of the entire home. It is cleverly put together, driven by an understanding between architect, interior designer and builder. Here, the eye is constantly satiated by complementary forms and blocks of colour as opposed to opulence and noise, allowing the form and a few select details to carry the internal experience.