Park Life – Melbourne

Park Life is an extension designed by Architecture Architecture responds to the principles of the ‘garden city’, integrating home, garden and streetscape. Located on Park Crescent in an Estate Heritage Precinct, the area remains one of the best preserved of the early 1940’sHousing Commission of Victoria estates, ‘notable for its strong visual homogeneity… and curving street layout around a central park.’
Located on a corner lot with its backyard facing onto Park Crescent, this project presented the studio with a usual challenge: how to create a private backyard for their clients, while contributing to the generous, green park life of the heritage streetscape.
The artist’s studio mediates between streetscape and courtyard, establishing a clear threshold into the private realm of the property while presenting a deep, gentle curve that welcomes guests and neighbours to venture in, or a cocktail gathering to spill-out.
A large timber-battened gate allows this threshold to be closed-down as required. Inside, minor modifications to the existing house substantially restructure its use and function, establishing the quieter, private zones for sleep, study, music, and relaxation.
The new living zones extend diagonally out from the existing house; walls flare, pinch and curve, sometimes stealing, sometimes surrendering space to the courtyard, ensuring both benefits from a sense of generosity.
Concrete, rendered brick, timber, and porcelain: materials here are subtle but earthy, establishing living spaces that are grounded and protective, hugging the side and rear site boundaries, forming the backdrop for the courtyard. At the moment of transition between the old house and the new, the threshold swells to form a modest gallery, where the occupants of this house, artist, and curator, share their love of the visual arts.

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