Concealed Reveal – Hawthorn House by Rosstang Architects and Fiona Jack Interiors
Modestly unfolding behind its high screened front wall, Hawthorn House emerges as a private and curious series of spaces, tucked away from the street. Rosstang Architects and Fiona Jack Interiors layer the residential home with rich and textural elements that enliven and animate.
Located in the inner east of Melbourne, Hawthorn House sees the reimagining of an existing family home, opening up to its newly crafted rear garden and layering in integral connections internally to reflect its owners. As is much the case with homes over time, the existing bones needed refreshing and being brought into a contemporary relevance, while still retaining elements of the original. Hawthorn House differs from most, however, in that its front face to the street has less of a presence, concealing the main structure of the home behind a high wall. Its unique frontage instead offers a sense of discovery and incites curiosity as to what awaits beyond, and a directive journey unfolds as one enters into the home. Combining forces, Rosstang Architects and Fiona Jack Interiors apply a layered approach, integrated the old in with the new.
On its treelined street, there is an air of mystery behind Hawthorn House as it sits concealed and set back from its neighbours by comparison. Upon approach, a garden is set at the front of the site, buffering the transition between public and private, while also creating a focused and secluded place of respite. Built by Henry Netherway Builders, the home is instilled with a sense of calm and restfulness, both from its initial moments and then carried through into the remainder and rear elements. Engaged to add a new life and vitality to areas that felt tired and worn, the team was tasked with what was referred to as ‘sparking joy’, seeking to elevate the home to reach its unfulfilled potential.
A similar sensibility is carried through into the interior, with concealed and revealing elements tucked into various spaces throughout. Doors throughout are also obscured, both creating separate zones and adding a similar feeling of surprise and discovery internally. A combination of low and high ceilings then creates moments of compression and release, emphasising a closeness and sense of intimacy while also encouraging a togetherness through openness. Warm and textural finishes are combined with smoother and more polished ones, creating a balance and continuing a diversity at the same time.