Refined Crafting – Hughesdale House by Tom Eckersley Architects
Through the opening of the existing Victorian-era home, a refined and calm abode unfolds. Hughesdale House sees Tom Eckersley Architects introduce a crafted addition to the rear of the heritage home, creating key connections to the extents of the site in the process.
Set to the south of Melbourne, Hughesdale House reimagines an existing home into an open and connected series of spaces that emphasise light. While the previous detailing and ornateness, typical of the Victorian era, remains present in the front portion of the home, a more contemporary interpretation of craft is then rolled out to the rear. The new addition sits as a complement to the previous home and acts almost like a balancing agent in its reductionist approach, omitting ornateness in favour of clean lines and a linear methodology. At the core of the new works is the establishment of connections – both internally and beyond the building edge to the landscape. Tom Eckersley Architects pushes the volumes of the home deeper into the site to immerse it within the surrounding natural elements.
Hughesdale House was built by Ian Cross Construction and becomes a celebration of calm. The home as a sanctuary and haven is further explored through a restrained palette and minimal expression of junctions within the new. Not to oppose one another but to accentuate the differences between old and new, there is no cross over between styles, allowing both to stand as their own. To make way for the new, the previous lean-to form was removed, as it sat as a significant visual blocker between the interior and the landscape. The replacement sees a combined living, dining and kitchen space sit anchored in place through darker and more masonry expressions, echoing the robustness needed of a family home.
To ensure the entire building felt lighter throughout, skylights carve into the ceiling plane and allow natural light to come deeper into the spaces. While the addition is contained to one level, it has been designed in a way to allow for future flexibility and for an additional level to be added above later if needed. As the family grows and their needs change, the space and home may also need adjust and embedding key moves that allow for flexibility was key. Warmth is emphasised through the extensive use of timber both in joinery elements and as a ceiling lining. As an extension of an existing weatherboard home, incorporating timber allows that element of the home’s past to continue.