Shortlist | Residential Design | Australian Interior Design Awards
The existing residence comprised of a 3 bedroom mid Victoria brick dwelling over one level with 1970’s rear addition. With three young children and a rabbit the dwelling needed to first and foremost be a robust family home. The brief from our clients called for an extensive rework to all the existing internal spaces whilst creating an additional bedroom, rumpus space, bathroom and new laundry.
Further to the briefed spatial requirements, our Clients own an extensive contemporary art collection of painted works, sculpture, video and projection art that need to be housed and displayed in an environment that didn’t present as a gallery. The collection, which typically has a dark subject matter, needed a design solution and aesthetic that was complimentary rather than subordinate to the art. This thinking heavily informed our approach during the design process. Instead of an empty white box in which the Clients could place their art, we designed spaces that are textured and layered. The result is an architecture that is both raw and refined. In-situ wood grained concrete is complimented by marble, oak and polished chrome allowing the art to sit harmoniously within the spaces rather than dominate them.
Although the existing house was a very good example of mid Victorian Architecture it was not located within a Heritage overlay at the time of designing the proposal. The decision was made not to alter the heritage character of the existing building and to make the additions recessive to the heritage detail. Externally new additions are kept back from the front façade and clad in black stained timber so as not to visually dominate the heritage detail. An existing sewer diagonally traverses the site under the existing house limiting opportunities for any building works outside the existing envelope of the house. To the rear the clients desire to maximize the backyard resulted is a two storey rear façade. Through the layering and textures of materials and the positioning of an internal void space, this facade has achieved a sense of depth. Low level glazing at the base of this façade allow the wall to float over the concrete hearth that links the fireplace with the rear spaces and exterior deck.
Internally within the existing portion of the dwelling it was important the original detail was allowed to breathe. The contemporary insertions into these spaces such as the joinery are held off the ceiling to highlight the original detail of the decorative cornice and ceiling. The original doors, architraves, floorboards etc were retained to tell the storey of the original dwelling rather than be replaced with new. Black stained veneer and floorboards give these spaces a depth and richness reminiscent of a formal Library or Gentlemen’s Club.
The resulting building is both functional and robust. It provides a setting to display a significant contemporary art collection without sacrificing the essence of what is a family home. The result allows its users to appreciate the art without being overwhelmed.