Clark House

Clark House

Architect
SJB
Location
East Melbourne, VIC, Australia | View Map
Project Year
2017
Category
Private Houses
Nicole England
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Strap Double Towel Rail, Strap Hand Towel Rail, Strap Robe Hook, Hidden Stainless Steel Push Plate & In Wall Pneumatic Cistern, As Above Cis.1, Grata Tile Insert Shower GrateRogerseller
ManufacturersVilleroy & Boch AG
ManufacturersZip Heaters
ALAPE WT 400 Round WashstandAlape
WT400
STONECORIAN® Design
Sink - Undermount Kubus, Kitchen Mixer - Active Pull-Out Nozzle, Laundry Tub – DLT 610Franke Home Solutions

Product Spec Sheet
Strap Double Towel Rail, Strap Hand Towel Rail, Strap Robe Hook, Hidden Stainless Steel Push Plate & In Wall Pneumatic Cistern, As Above Cis.1, Grata Tile Insert Shower Grate
Manufacturers
ALAPE WT 400 Round Washstand
WT400 by Alape
STONE
Sink - Undermount Kubus, Kitchen Mixer - Active Pull-Out Nozzle, Laundry Tub – DLT 610

Clark House

SJB as Architects

The residence was designed and built in 1869 by John James Clark, who also designed key Melbourne Institutions such as The Old Treasury Building, Melbourne City Baths and Queen Victoria Women's Hospital. As his private home, it was imperative to restore and refresh this magnificent home with gravitas. Removing an octagonal gazebo, the home is newly extended, while interiors are clarified and visually softened to position the age and significance of the home as paramount.

 

The house is of great architectural significance, and as such, we worked with Heritage Victoria and Council for two and a half years to ensure all aspects of the heritage home were respectfully retained and acknowledged. Key elements to the home’s significance include the stark white exterior, the ironwork columns and timber fret work. Comprising two grand rooms at both the ground and upper level, the house is very much divided between front of house and back. Here, the back portion is almost half the height of the front, yet continues to be two storey. This back portion was extended with an 80’s gazebo.

 

Key to our design approach was acknowledgement of the house’s antiquity and the owner’s desire for that to remain legible. That said, there was no desire to turn the house into a museum. Rather, the aim was to create a contemporary living environment that was aesthetically compatible with the age of the house. As the house had to remain white on the outside, this set white as the colour for the inside. Pushing this idea further we elected to sand and whitewash the floors to further soften the interior. This white on white interior served to further soften detailing, whereby no architectural detail was overtly expressed. Colour is refined and purposeful with simplified furnishings arranged as tableau to exaggerate the scale of the volumes and the pervading calm of such an abundance of white.

 

The all white interior additionally recontextualises the oversized French doors as romantic in the New Orleans style of opening a room entirely. It is an interesting element not usually seen in Victoria and has the effect of making the house seem significantly different to homes of its era. Furthering the experience of the house’s age, fireplaces have been fully restored, including the original kitchen fireplace. We felt that it was important to acknowledge the original design elements wherever possible. As such, this historic element now forms part of a newly created family room, a half floor lower than the main house.

 

The extension forms a contrast to the new that is visually linked by bleached floorboards. Providing a new family room, kitchen, meals area and two medium sized guest bedrooms, the extension is joined to the main house by a glass lantern. This is a significant design solution as the back corner of the maid’s quarters were required by heritage to remain intact, including the window. In our design, the corner sits within an interior volume. The lantern allows natural light to pervade the area, but it allows a view up along the brick wall of the heritage volume.

 

The extension is in fact highly contemporary with a palette of grey, black and white delivered as long horizontal planes. Stark black and white artworks, black steel framed windows and an abundance of white walls mimic the palette of the heritage portion without mimicking style. The continuation of a loose collection of contemporary and traditional furnishings further ties the two portions.

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