Text description provided by the architects. This project explores urban consolidation. Our clients were empty-nesters 'swimming' in the large Victorian home where they raised their children. Although they relished the inner-city location, with access to lifestyle opportunities and numerous amenities, they were eager to down-size, free themselves of debt and prepare for future challenges associated with the aging process. Having explored a number of possibilities they decided that utilizing the generous garden area associated with their current home was the preferred way forward. Both ideologically and financially it made sense and so the long process began.
Working within the tight planning constraints of inner city Richmond, the design draws on references from the immediate streetscape in the way of building lines and materiality. Windows are carefully located to avoid overlooking into adjoining properties, while providing occupants with framed views of the neighbourhood – the streetscape from the kitchen, the MCG and city from the upper level and the private garden from the main living area. Sitting slightly lower than the rear garden, the cosy living room features a suspended fireplace and provides direct connection with the established vegetation. The materiality took inspiration from the client’s love of locally sourced autumnal bricks – the palette is underpinned by natural tones and textures, imbued with a sense of age and earthiness.
Committed to creating a home with a high level of amenity, a shared car stacker sits discretely between the old and the new premises and a small domestic lift ensures easy circulation between the three levels. It's a project that courageously embraces the challenges we face in relation to population growth and urban sprawl and it sits as an exemplar of inner city re-birth.