Rob Ryan Projects was appointed to refurbish a Victorian cottage in South Melbourne. The site is characterised by its setting within a row of timber-clad Victorian cottages. All cottages have a heritage overlay, requiring considered and minimal visual bulk to any addition when viewed from the street.
We understand that great design is about experiences and a quality outcome created through connection and partnership. A great product is not only about the finished space but the experience of end to end design through planning, building and inhabiting a home. This relies heavily on the partnership with the client, the context and their home.
Beyond respect for the context, function and aspirations of the project there is a need for conceptual clarity. This underpins the notion of design as experienced from start to finish.
For the South Melbourne Residence, the design was developed following extensive briefing with the clients and fully understanding their needs, the budget, local environment and site constraints.
The concept for the extension was to create a solution that maximised the sites potential but also offer an interior that opened-up to light and shadow to create textured living spaces. The narrow site with a total area of 170m² was seen as an opportunity to craft a scheme that was sympathetic to the existing house, whilst creating a contemporary interior and exterior reflective of this young families way of life.
Designed as a slatted timber box, the extension plays with colour and texture. The Pacific Teak battens promotes the interplay between new and old as they transition from reddish hues to a subtle grey that will ultimately blend comfortably with the surrounding grey gum trees. Comfortably sitting within the local context, nestled amongst other cottages.
Exploring opportunities for connection between the spaces and increasingthe internal volume through double height spaces, we looked to play with scaled grids and punctuated the space with natural light. Large expanses of glazing allowed for seamless connections between the interior and rear yard.
The site is exposed on the northern side, so a creative window screening device was required to provide solar protection, privacy views to neighbouring properties whilst also allowing natural light to penetrate the bedrooms and living spaces on the first floor.
Horizontal louvres framed by a steel shroud was designed to accommodate all these requirements. The black elements provide a contrast to the Pacific Teak cladding.
Sash windows on the first floor allow the air to be drafted from the ground level living spaces, creating air circulation and ventilation.
The finished product provides our client with a combination of quiet spaces, adequate bedrooms, an outdoor rear yard that is connected to the open shared living areas and a roof deck. A home for this young family to grow into.