Through a careful re-sculpting, Studio Prineas breathes a welcomed new life into Elia House’s Victorian-era Italianate origins, further emphasising connections to the natural. The design explores the unique and nuanced detailing of the home’s existing charm, weaving in a modern and open sensibility.
Originating back to the 1890s, the ornate and generously proportioned Elia House is brought back to a sense of grandeur through a curated series of restoration and addition efforts. Uniquely separated from its neighbours, the terrace home has enviable access along both of its flanking edges, allowing for natural light and ventilation to fill the home and ensuring it feels as though it extends beyond the building edge. Expanding on these principles of openness and flow, the new works add to an enhanced liveability and the experience of living within a heritage shell, while also infusing a contemporary sensibility at the same time. Studio Prineas captures and celebrates the charm of the original Italianate home, ensuring its fittingness for its growing family through the insertion of robust and long-wearing materials.
Located in inner west Sydney, the project was carried out along a generous timeframe, making for a unique situation that allowed for the best methodology to be devised and implemented. Like many heritage homes, over time it had become endowed with ill-fitting additions completed by unskilled labour with have no reference to the original framework and character of the era. Removing these and starting from a cleared base, the new elements could be added with a sense of clarity and act as a natural and evolved extension of the principles of the original. While the transition between the new and old is clear, there is a deliberate separation between the two eras, avoiding replication and instead representing crafted detail from each.
Opening fully to the rear landscaped yard, the addition allows for a combined living, dining and kitchen space to take form and acts as a pull to bring the family together. The original and formally planned rooms at the front of the home then remain intact and their functions respond accordingly. While timber flooring runs throughout the home, the base of white and restrained finishes ensures the home becomes a canvas in a way for the changing needs of its family over time while allowing for adjustments and differing expressions of personality. It is with a light touch that the old and new feel connected and continuous, bringing a holistic sensibility to the home as a whole.