Binding Time – Autumn House by Studio Bright

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Studio Bright
Photography by Rory Gardiner
Build by ProvanBuilt
Interior Design by Studio Bright
Engineer by Meyer Consulting

As a stitching of time and differing styles, Autumn House is approached with a sensitivity to place. Studio Bright carefully weaves the new with the existing, proposing a home that reflects its current custodians with a respectful reference to the structure’s previous chapters.

Nestled among other quaint heritage homes in Carlton North, Autumn House sees several iterations come together. In recognising its layered past, the added chapters reference the home’s past whilst catering to the new residents. Originally built during the Victorian era, the most current additions and alterations aim to bring a sense of cohesion across the site, weaving in a natural focus and integrating landscape as a key experience of the home. Studio Bright focuses on engaging with orientation and the natural elements to enhance how the residence functions.

Studio Bright focuses on engaging with orientation and the natural elements to enhance how the residence functions.

Studio Bright pushes the structure to envelope the southern edge of the boundary as much as possible, allowing for increased openings and access to northern solar gains. Whilst the more recent 1980s renovation opened the original formality – adding additional elements and volumes across the site – it lacked the openness of contemporary homes. The prominent elm tree located at the rear remains a key focus of the home, though elements such as the timber ceiling and brick walls needing restoration. In binding each of the eras of the structure, the new elements are selected and formed from a place of sensitivity, with similar tonality used throughout, focusing on a sense of openness and connection to nature.

The creation of interior courtyard spaces plays a vital role in crafting opportunities for natural light to enter and fill the house. By actively engaging with the natural elements across the site and opening the home’s architecture, the building can act as an active contributor to the site, enhancing comfort throughout the year. Transitioning through the spaces, the materiality and functionality is aligned with varying levels of exposure and intimacy. The common softness created through a cohesive palette is complemented by the warmth and neutrality of timber and glazing.

The creation of interior courtyard spaces plays a vital role in crafting opportunities for natural light to enter and fill the house.

Autumn House take influence from its name, incorporating warm colours and acting as a transitional series of additions that lead and connect to a commonality. By embracing the natural, Studio Bright ensures a continued relationship to place, centring around an immersion in nature and connection to past.