ASCOT VALE HOUSE

CATEGORY: RESIDENTIAL – ALTERATION AND ADDITION
LOCATION – ASCOT VALE – MELBOURNE
STATUS – CONSTRUCTION
YEAR – 2018

This 1940’s period home is a real labour of love, and in fact the home’s original owner was a builder who built this gem in Ascot Vale by hand. Whilst seemingly grand in proportions, this home was quite modest and efficient in its arrangement – the house had been a two-bedroom home for over 70 years and now the home base of a young family with two active kids, was ready to enter the next stage of its life.

One of the initial challenges in tackling this brief was in negotiating the house’s unique siting conditions; while the home is set square within its site, the property itself is set to a street grid of 45 degrees off true north. Whilst perhaps being an efficient response, a standard ‘box-on-the-back’ design would only capture oblique lighting conditions limited to the morning hours and wasn’t going to provide improved lighting to new and existing spaces within the house. In turn, our strategy became one of redefining the axes of the extension to draw upon the compass points, resulting in an addition that cranks to the east, peeling away from the original home and providing light to internal spaces from the north, east and south. This simple move creates a series of light courts and gardens in and around the new addition and a light, lush backdrop to the space.

Right from the beginning, our client expressed a real love of brick and natural materials – a sentiment which we whole- heartedly share and were enthusiastic to explore with them. Recalling our first site visit with them, we were also taken with the intricate brick detailing and the beautiful original hardwood interior detailing throughout, which were in near-perfect condition. These more subtle details have formed the inspiration and guide-posts for the palette and motifs within the project.