Restoration and new addition.

This beautiful Edwardian house is nestled on this lush, green property in Melbourne’s suburb of Ivanhoe. My clients approached me as the house was too small, dark, has a terrible layout, lacks storage and they feared the difficulties of the block would not allow that to change – north faces the street meaning the old house blocks any sunlight to the rear, and large council protected trees on the site leaves a limited space to work within.

Sadly as with almost all old houses I work on, a poorly designed addition to the rear built in the 1980’s has to go.

My design adds a double storey addition to the rear to maximise the limited available space to work within. The previous addition turned it’s back onto the best views of the beautiful yard – the huge trees, and faced south so it was always dark. I have placed large windows to look out onto the tree, and they are angled to poke past the original house to capture north light into the living space.

Whilst designing the house I began to think about trees and the way in which the branches rotate and extend out from the trunk – its lifeline. Similarly I made the focus of the house a trunk like spine that passes up through the new addition. This spine has the staircase wrapped around it and is also the chimney stack. Before TV’s the fireplace was the gathering place for a family, it’s lifeline. So with this idea in mind the floor plan swivels around this spine, as does the staircase, making this the lifeline of the house. Passing up through a hole in the first floor,  north facing windows at the top create a light shaft, bringing natural daylight into the living spaces that have much of their access to natural light blocked by the old north facing house.

This project is about to be submitted for council approval. We hope construction will start in mid 2016.