LocationMelbourne VIC, Australia
ArchitectsMatt Gibson Architecture
From the architect. The brief for the renovation of this boom style double fronted Victorian home in Armadale originally called for full demolition. However, upon witnessing the possibilities of the existing dwelling the client was encouraged to retain & restore the front section with the potential that it could enable the project as a whole to provoke a richer response when co-aligned with a newer intervention.
Given the depth of the site and a client request for sheltered outdoor space a decision was made to separate rather than attach the new works at the rear. This availed a strip of north facing external space between old & new ‘pavilions’. The placement and articulation of which was fundamental to injecting interest within the spatial experience of the home.
The end result follows a story of 2 ‘pavilions’ - at the front the restoration of the existing grander section of the Victorian building and at the rear a new contemporary double storey addition. Both are seemingly separate yet connected via a metaphorical bridge that traverses the courtyard area - acting as a powerful interstitial space mediating the two buildings and history .
This glazed bridge transforms through the seasons. In the colder months it performs as an enclosed way and umbilical chord between the buildings. On warmer days it may open up to become external, helping to extend the floor plate of the courtyards for gatherings and sheltered outdoor dining . Doors at either end allow flexibility to open up or close down sections of the house as required. The courtyards also serve to the break up the house into 3 strong programmatic zones –existing structure as master quarters & Drawing room, newer ground floor for living quarters and children’s quarters upstairs.