A Rich Layering – d’Estaville by NTF Architecture
As a carefully curated reimagining of a heritage home in Kew, d’Estaville sees the grandeur and crafted character of its past built upon to layer in rich textures and moments of the unexpected. NTF Architecture takes inspiration from the highly detailed and decorative features to add a revised contemporary relevance.
Originally designed by architects Knight and Kerr, best known Melbourne Parliament House and other significant public buildings, d’Estaville is their only identified residence. Bringing a similar sense of permanence and importance that they instilled in their other work, the home in Melbourne’s inner east echoes a shared generosity and sense of opulence in scale. Working within the existing heritage elements and aligning with State Heritage regulations and framework, NTF Architecture concentrated the work on repairing neglected areas and correcting previous renovations that were done without much intent.
Built by MGS Constructions and with surrounding gardens reimagined by Eckersley Garden Architecture, d’Estaville reinstates the formalities of its past. All new gestures become an evolution of that which came before. Instead of overwhelming the original details, the new acts to strip back and allow the original intent to be better celebrated. Creating connections between the interior and the garden also formed an integral part of the brief, allowing the landscape to become an extension of the home with outdoor rooms as retreat open spaces. Bringing the height of fencing and plantings down also allowed the home to be better showcased from approach, instead of hidden from view.
An overall approach to retain and rework has been utilised throughout, transforming otherwise unused spaces. The original 1940s air raid shelter, for example, was transformed into a custom wine cellar, retaining its storied past and adapting its use and climate-controlled environment into a useful alternative for the current owners. The interior is shaped by a similar moody palette as the dark stone of the exterior. Rich and saturated colours sit alongside more subdued and balanced elements, all bound through an intensity of tactility and form. More formal and retreat spaces are defined by cooler colours, and more active areas of convening are then where vibrant and intense colours are used.
d’Estaville imbues the richness that was originally intended for the home. NTF Architecture has ensured a contemporary way of living within and engaging with the heritage home is heralded, respectfully bringing the home’s past into a relevant present.