This project involved the restoration and modification of an historically significant single storey Victorian era Italianate villa in inner Melbourne. The brief was to combine the historic original building with a new addition to create a home for contemporary living.

The original house remains largely intact to retain historical value whilst the new additions provide an opportunity to add contemporary amenity including providing new spaces which are well oriented, naturally lit & ventilated and meaningfully connected to outdoor space.

This project offered a range of opportunities to engage with tradition in different ways including the faithful restoration of traditional features, the reinterpretation of existing architectural ideas such as the iron columns of the traditional veranda and the introduction of new discordant ones like the use of Perspex to amplify the characteristics of the original house and provide a new way of seeing the old. The building functions as a dwelling and display for the owner’s contemporary art collection.

Consideration of the house as both gallery and home were considered during the design stages and influenced decisions such as window placement, and the play of natural and artificial light. Spaces are designed to accommodate a wide variety of sculpture, hanging wall art, video and light installations inserted into the everyday domestic setting of kitchen, pantry and powder room.

Photography by Ernesto Arriagada.