Playful and Decorative – Glebe House by Tribe Studio Architects
Glebe, NSW, Australia

Photography Katherine Lu
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Hunting Table

Expanding on cues from the home’s Victorian-era origins, Glebe House playfully engages both old and new while celebrating decorative sensibilities. Tribe Studio Architects enlivens the heritage residence, embedding contemporary purpose and intercepting the journey of movement through the home, extending outward to the rear laneway.

Within an existing established heritage home in the same-named Sydney enclave, Glebe House reinterprets a traditional approach to repurposing through a contemporary lens. Instead, a methodology that engages a more animated and colourful integration of function amongst the old emerges and establishes a unique personalised identity for the home and its current owners. The original home is extended outward, encouraging an inward flooding of natural light, while also giving new life to an existing and unused structure at the rear of the property. Ensuring the home aligned with its family and their need to be connected, living in a more fluid motion that the original era intended, a set of interventions allow the existing character and charm to remain celebrated. Tribe Studio Architects proposes the new to sit within the old, complementing and avoiding competition.

Wanting to avoid rewiring the old home, new colourful and sculpture-like insertions allow wiring to be inserted into each of the space, while also adding their own point of interest.

Built by Daniel Girling-Butcher, Glebe house opens to its rear north-facing courtyard where an extension drinks in the natural light and allows an open and connected family zone. The internal zones then allow an effortless open flow into the outdoor living spaces and beyond to the dedicated studio space. Intended as a multipurpose destination, the rear volume is used as lodging for visiting guests and potential short-stay accommodation. As a home for its family of four both parents needed to be able to work from home, and this secondary space allowed a complete dislocation from the main home.

Removing existing extensions allowed the original home to be brought back to its intended purpose, and for the new additions to be conceived as a natural evolution. The new takes suitable cues from the original stylings and highly decorative approach of the era, which is then interpreted through a clean and playful lens. Wanting to avoid rewiring the old home, new colourful and sculpture-like insertions allow wiring to be inserted into each of the space, while also adding their own point of interest. In some cases, joinery is added to allow for a workspace to be hung from one of these insertions.

The new takes suitable cues from the original stylings and highly decorative approach of the era, which is then interpreted through a clean and playful lens.

The overall approach of the home is one that brings elements of the original forward, while infusing a contemporary originality. Through injecting the personalities of its owners and an unexpected approach, Tribe Studio Architects has created a home that connects time, and now, its inhabitants.

Published 17 June, 2021
Photography  Katherine Lu
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