This project by the architects Warc Studio features the alterations and additions to a wonderful two-story Tudor Revival residence that was originally constructed in Eastern Melbourne during the interwar period. Over the last twenty years, much of the original housing stock in the area has been sanitized and replaced by ubiquitous Neo-Provincial McMansions and Palladian Masterpieces. Fortunately, this residence, with its features of picturesque massing and its rustic façade treatment, has been protected by a heritage overlay. The existing residence had already undergone numerous renovations which had left a series of ‘rabbit warren’ passages that divorced the internal spaces from the garden and pool. The brief requirements were to upgrade the existing facilities and open the interior to the back of the house.
The design goal was to create a series of new spaces that were derived from a contemporary interpretation of the existing picturesque massing and gabled roof forms.
Ph. Aaron Pocock
The rear two-story additions were derived by borrowing an existing asymmetrical gabled form from the side of the house. A void was then cut into the asymmetrical mass to create an outdoor dining area. A solid-void dichotomy was subsequently created by placing the shape of the void form onto the existing garage to provide it with a useable area. Upon entering the house, the existing rooms connected to the entry were all retained. A short, new passageway was inserted beside the existing staircase to connect the entry hall with the new living spaces and the back garden. As a counterpoint to the somewhat heavy Saxon interior, this passage was lined with polished white panels that reflect light and mirror views from the garden. The living areas feature: moments where the existing raw brickwork and openings have been retained; a series of built-in cabinetry that frames the views to the pool; skylights to enable natural light to the spaces that typically have a Southern aspect; and pivoting door panels that subtly open ancillary spaces to the laundry and powder rooms. The outdoor dining area is a social hub that connects the interior and exterior spaces. It features a sunken space where the deck morphs into built-in seating. Sliding door panels conceal a BBQ when it is not in use. An operable timber screen masks the West facing laundry façade to mitigate the solar radiation of the harsh Western afternoon light. Sustainable measures employed on this project include: reuse of all available existing brickwork; use of second hand brickwork for any additional bricks; high insulation levels; double glazing to all doors and fixed windows; louvered windows to maximize cross flow ventilation; openable screening to the West facing laundry; locally and sustainably harvested hardwood flooring; low VOC floor finishes; hydronic heating.
DATE: 2018 / LOCATION: Balwyn, Australia / PROGRAM: Residential / STATUS: Built / DESIGN: Warc Studio / CONSULTANTS: Structplan (Engineering), Big Fish Constructions (Construction) / PHOTOS: Aaron Pocock