Integrity is at the heart of Ripponlea House, designed as a place that embodies a sense of connection, presence and calm by Luke Fry Architecture. While the initial brief for the residence was two storeys, Luke Fry, founder and director of his eponymous practice, recommended focusing on quality over quantity via a single level instead, culminating in a forever home for a young family that promises high functionality for decades to come.
Built in the early 1900s, the semi-detached brick home sits on a 240sqm site in a tree-lined cul-de-sac in a beautiful pocket of Ripponlea, Melbourne Australia. Hidden from street view the new extension opens up to a sun-bathed courtyard, highlighting its connection to the outdoors.
The hero of this project is the strength of its design language and visual consistency, emphasising innovation and creativity through its interpretation of wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy surrounding rustic simplicity, that flows throughout the home.
Original features were restored with respect, retaining a sense of connection to its history, while infusing the space with contemporary relevance. A clean, linear approach was applied to
ensure that new elements sit comfortably with the old, expressed in their own ways, yet without competing with one another.
Materials used for the project were edited down to quality, long-lasting locally sourced essentials of European oak, natural stone, concrete and bagged brick for a sustainable, cost-effective design resulting in a refined aesthetic that will stand the test of time.
Spatial planning, future-proofing and sustainability were forefront of mind in this practical home that infuses site orientation, window locations and internal zoning thoughtfully for an energy-efficient space that allows for passive cooling and a healthy indoor environment. “We focused on maximising the tight single-fronted site as best we could by carving courtyards into the building to enhance natural light and its connection to the landscape. The design, both internally and externally, is one that creates a sense of calm,” said Luke.
It comes as no surprise that design inspiration was drawn from a day spa given its serene feel, among many other international projects, all of which underline raw, neutral palettes that have a strong association with greenery.
“There is a high level of detail everywhere, from the joinery to skylights and courtyard which combine to make a small space feel comfortable and tranquil, but it’s hard for me to look past the concrete rendered bath as my favourite element. This was experimental for us and something which we are truly proud of,” said Luke.