Developed in close collaboration with its owners, this Melbourne house is a direct architectural response to the couple’s lifestyle and sensibilities, reflecting architect Pete Kennon of Melbourne-based studio Kennon+ exploration of the relationship between architecture, memory and identity.
The meticulously refurbished Victorian building is characterised by period embellishment on the outside, the weatherboard clad façade is adorned by ornamental cast iron lacework, with ornate marble mantelpieces, plaster cornices and ceiling roses inside – the in-situ cast concrete extension is a paradigm of minimalist design. The concrete structure imbues the extension with a sense of robustness conveying permanence and stability, but at the same time, its elemental, arched-box shape delineates the archetypal form of a house evoking a feeling of homeliness. What’s more, the repeated gabled shape echoes the architectural heritage of the original house, harmoniously blending old and new despite the stylistic differences.
Entering through the front door, the foyer leads you straight to the communal areas at the rear of the house and the garden and swimming pool that lie beyond, with the master bedroom and study at the front section, and the children’s quarters upstairs.
The open-plan configuration of the living, dining and kitchen areas spatially extends to the decked terrace outside, courtesy of floor to ceiling glazing, creating a bright and spacious environment for the family of five to spend time together.
Photo by Derek Swalwell