Measured and Contemporary – Folks House by IOA Studio
Williamstown, VIC, Australia

Photography Tom Ross
Architecture IOA Studio
Interior Design inDesign Company
Words Bronwyn Marshall
Landscape Design inDesign Company
Joinery Kurv
Folks House By Ioa Studio Project Feature The Local Project Image 12

Reinvigorating a tired heritage home in Williamstown through a process of opening up, encouraging of natural light inward and creating meaningful connections outward, IOA Studio strikes a harmonious balance between the old and new, preserving and inserting with a measured, contemporary consideration.

Taking residency in the bones of a grand heritage home in Melbourne’s Williamstown, Folks House reinvents previous self into a more deliberate and purposed contemporary iteration. Abating the lack of natural light internally and injecting flexibility into a rigid formality were key to its transformation into a useable and contemporary home. Creating meaningful connections between the inside and out became a driving force within the design, ensuring a visual and ventilated flow between the built and the natural. IOA Studio balances the new interventions with a respectful preservation of the old, allowing a balanced coexistence that celebrates both eras and allows for a shared narrative.

Creating meaningful connections between the inside and out became a driving force within the design, ensuring a visual and ventilated flow between the built and the natural.

Constructed by BFC Built, together with interiors, styling and landscape design by inDesign Company, Folks House is a deeply collaborative and comprehensive effort. Like many such stories, the original home was retained and restored, and the make-shift addition (having been added haphazardly over the years) was removed and reimagined. The result creates a bridge between the original and ornate elements of the home’s previous architectural intent together with a contemporary sensibility and purpose. Mechanisms were integrated to not only aesthetically update the home but to integrate more sustainable principles into its performance and daily workings. Increased insulation, the reorientation and opening of the home and the addition of solar panels overhead all aid in a reduced loading on required energy.

At the heart of the home is a shared passion of entertaining within the family, and the resulting kitchen and surrounding spaces then needed to reflect and facilitate this. As a drawing destination internally, the kitchen becomes a feature in itself, while still imagined through the same contemporary and muted approach. Integrated storage and display elements further increase the support spaces internally and reduce the need to have additional furniture items that would distract from the celebration of the home’s original detail.

At the heart of the home is a shared passion of entertaining within the family, and the resulting kitchen and surrounding spaces then needed to reflect and facilitate this.

Folks Home is a modest and considered reactivation of its previous self, bringing a new sense of contemporary purpose for its owners. IOA Studio has readdressed the focus internally on the social gathering spaces, while also encouraging a dialogue with the natural elements beyond the bounding built envelope, making full use of the home and its site.

Published 19 December, 2020
Photography  Tom Ross
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