Creating Meaningful Connections – Julius Street by Archier
Coburg, VIC, Australia

Photography Benjamin Hosking
Architecture Archier
Interior Design Archier
Words Bronwyn Marshall
- Project Feature - The Local Project

As an exercise in reconnection, Julius Street is the evolution of a family home to extend its connections beyond the building envelope into the garden and surrounding natural elements. Archier carves out and reorients a series of interventions to create a home that is firmly planted in its site.

Nestled into the established residential fabric of Melbourne’s north, Julius Street is located in Coburg among similar homes of the same era. With key private greenspace and its own freestanding established architectural setting, the original home is a celebrated expression of red brick and the crafted nature of the homes of its time. Its style is reflective of the known suburban condition, and the preservation of its stylings is key to the historical narrative of the area. The home inherited a formality of planning and structure that created aninsular and restrictive interior – abating this became a key element of the brief. The new works involved the opening up of the interior and see the reorientation of key functional areas to connect to the landscape, allowing a spill over beyond the building envelope. Archier combines a considered and modest approach to ensure the interventions are thoughtful and respectful the original home’s intent, while connecting to a relevant present.

The previous south-facing kitchen is repositioned facing north, to ensure a capture of natural solar gains and to ensure one of the most utilised spaces within the home is endowed with natural illumination throughout the day.

Creating key connections between the inside and outside realms lies at the heart of the resulting works. Through a replanning of the interior and an optimisation of its spaces, a more open and connected home emerges. The previous south-facing kitchen is repositioned facing north, to ensure a capture of natural solar gains and to ensure one of the most utilised spaces within the home is endowed with natural illumination throughout the day. Through replanning and an addition of a mere 10sqm of floor space, this rear portion of the home has been injected with a new life, filtering out into the surrounding greenspace.

The home’s original sense of warmth is carried through into the new and is expressed through matched materiality in tonality and feel. The use of charred and natural timber in the glazed opening elements connects to the home’s original brick frontage and creates an embrace for its occupants. The home then sees the older, more formal elements dissipate as the home transitions from the existing to the new, as it opens up and allows the landscape to filter through into the lived interior spaces and vice versa.

The home’s original sense of warmth is carried through into the new and is expressed through matched materiality in tonality and feel.

Julius Street proves the smallest of interventions, when done with considered rigour and matched inquisitiveness, can achieve exponential changes to space. Archier has combined a modest and measured approach and, in turn, created a home of lasting resonance and meaning.

Published 13 December, 2020
Photography  Benjamin Hosking
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