Winwood McKenzie Architecture
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
As soon as one enters the Art House by Winwood McKenzie Architecture, an art filled 19th Century two storey terrace house with ornate arched doorways and deep cornices, the unique personalities of it’s inhabitants are evident.
An adaptation of the British model, the ability for the terrace house to absorb the idiosyncratic style of it’s owners shows the resilience of architectural type and it’s enduring contribution to the urban fabric of Melbourne. It’s polite exterior containing the richness of life behind.
A series of small interventions designed by Winwood McKenzie contribute to the character of the interior. A new bathroom, powder room and complex study joinery are conceived as works of art in themselves. Material selections are layered with meaning and celebrate craft and the production of materials.
Working collaboratively with the owners the design is a unique expression of the clients tastes and interests. Materials are selected to express their innate character and detailed in a manner to accentuate the craft and work of the contractors. Hand painted encaustic tiles that evoked memories of old cities visited and complement the curved ornament of the heritage house, uncut penny rounds that follow the curves around the corners of walls, hand block printed wallpaper referencing the interests of the owner complement the original materials of the house.
The polite exterior of the Art House by Winwood McKenzie masks the richness of life behind.
A key feature of the design is the custom made door hardware that integrates the handles with the joinery and provides a steel edge to the sides of the door fronts.
The small spaces are used densely. The cupboards in the bathroom conceal a vanity, three laundry baskets and additional storage space. The complex study joinery unit replaces a study desk and shelves allowing the study to be completely concealed. The joinery unit contains a desk, computer, printer, speakers, filing shelves and pen drawer as well as space to store a desk chair and a secret door into the small basement storage area.
Working collaboratively with the owners the design is a unique expression of the clients tastes and interests.
Appearing like a cupboard beneath the stairs a powder room contains a toilet, basin and mirror with a surprisingly rich wallpaper to surprise guests.
The new spaces possess a strong personality and sense of individuality, the peaceful ornate bathroom, the surprising powder room under the stairs and joinery that reveals it’s secrets through use. The density of ideas creates an architecture that is layered, referential and detailed in conception and realisation.
The engaging peacefulness of the house is enriched yet remains undisturbed.