A Modern Iteration – Elsternwick House by Field Office Architecture and Winter Architecture
Engaging with its heritage streetscape, Elsternwick House embraces the surrounding context and reinterprets its own iteration through a contemporary lens. Field Office Architects and Winter Architecture combine forces to propose a home that embodies connection and light, while respecting the traditional contextual proportions and volume.
Amongst a row of Victorian-era terrace homes, Elsternwick House sits comfortably as a contemporary reinterpretation of its neighbouring vernacular, reflecting a similar scale, proportion and form. Replacing an existing 1970s home of no significant heritage value, the new home instead takes reference from the streetscape it shares and inserts a congenial offering to fit effortlessly amongst the existing. The proposal mimics the peaked gable forms of the surrounding heritage cottages, while also containing the home’s functions behind similar proportions on site. Internally, the home then opens and engages with the natural elements, optimising innovation to ensure a high performing home, as a differential benchmark from its muses. In a collaboration unusual at such a small scale, Field Office Architects and Winter Architecture join to design and deliver the carefully considered home.
A simplified palette sees blockwork sit alongside polished concrete flooring, as a contrast to the warmer and more detailed and refined elements.
Built by Ferguson Construction, the approach is born from the binding of a new addition to an existing home, but instead in this case the older element is the streetscape, and the addition is Elsternwick House in its entirety. Similar sensitivities that allow a showcase of the heritage features and allowing the old and new to coexist harmoniously are considered in the form and materiality and how it engages with the street. Matched setbacks ensure a consistent rhythm is maintained, and the overall form of the home appears as two elements. In the foreground, a similar cottage silhouette is shaped by the application of fibre cement sheeting, while the upper level is darkened in materiality to appear recessive and as a secondary element to the home. Its tonality acts as another nod to the old and new coming together, with the need for the addition to feel camouflaged in some way.
Internally, a crisp and contemporary home unfolds, effortlessly flowing from one space into the next. A warm palette of timber dominates the shared living, dining and kitchen zone, while the other more passive areas are drawn back even further, donned in less detail. A simplified palette sees blockwork sit alongside polished concrete flooring, as a contrast to the warmer and more detailed and refined elements. A robustness can be found throughout that matches the functionality needed for a family home, ensuring the absence of anything too precious or ornamental. Where possible, glazing connects and elongates spaces visually, while opening to allow sunlight ensures the home feels adequately illuminated throughout the day.