LocationSaint Kilda, Australia
Architect in ChargeFinnis Architects
Text description provided by the architects. Located in St-Kilda, one of Melbourne’s most rapidly evolving suburbs, the St Kilda Extension is a modern addition which celebrates the home’s traditional beauty whilst creating a tranquil retreat.
Entering the property from the street, it was crucial to maintain the contextual relevance of the building as to not detach it from its immediate and broader surroundings. In this way, the humbleness of the entry is typical to its neighbouring houses as the classic terracotta roof tiles and red brickwork emulates the character of the street.
What greets you on first entry into the home is a stark contrast as the contemporary interiors, designed in collaboration with Kylie D’alessandria from Huntress Interiors hint at the sleek modern nature toward the rear of the house. The distinction between what is old and new is gestured through the light hardwood floorboards which juxtapose the front entrance and transition to a darker polished concrete. This textural creativity marries with the dark finishes of the kitchen joinery and stone island benchtop.
Perhaps the home's greatest achievement is its recognition of the existing house and its materiality which isn’t lost but rather celebrated through the extension process. This is evident as the charm of the red brick seen on the façade is carried through to the backyard and creeps surprising elements into the interior living space, adding a certain charismatic layer to the house.
The backyard is where this property truly established itself as a prime example of modern living. Contrasting bespoke materials, including the richness of the stained timber cladding and two lush vertical gardens, combine to produce the perfect hidden oasis. The full height glass panels and doors which line the pool area capture the tranquillity and calming atmosphere of the water and the light and airy nature of the white stone pool tiles. A seamless transition from the open plan kitchen and living area to the outdoor alfresco space is brought together through large cantilevered covers which appear to effortlessly float above the alfresco area.
The environmental and heritage elements are effortlessly integrated into the home without feeling forced or faked whilst the individuality of the design from both the architects and interior designers is clear. The home is both a unique reflection of the owners through its personalised textures, materials and design choices, whilst actively creating brilliant entertaining spaces and a family home to live in for many years to come.