Carefully Crafted – Lysterville by Bryant Alsop Architects
Malvern East, VIC, Australia

Photography Emily Bartlett
Architecture Bryant Alsop Architects
Build Fortem Projects
Words Bronwyn Marshall

A delicate extension of the original Edwardian-style home, Lysterville draws on crafted and decorative cues to propose the new as a carefully considered addition. Bryant Alsop Architects brings a light and open approach together with a refined rigour, evolving the previous grandeur through a contemporary lens.

In its Malvern East setting, similar era-Edwardian homes dot the streets as a reminder of the neighbourhood’s beginning. Maintaining this rhythm and charm was integral for Lysterville. While the original home was in need of extensive repair, the initial engagement for a small renovation was soon expanded as a fully encasing approach. Reimaging the home through a holistic set of principles ensured key elements from the original were carried through into the new and principles of the new were brought into the heritage components of the home. Sitting long and lean on its site, one of the main obstacles was bringing in natural light to the internal spaces to enhance a feeling of openness, while a protected and established tree also needed to not be interrupted. Bryant Alsop Architects draws from the highly detailed and hand-crafted approach of the original, melding with a clean and contemporary sensibility.

The original sense of proportion of the home is carried through and interpreted through an openness and increased visibility.

Collaboratively, Lysterville was built by Fortem Projects, and the landscape created by Andrew Plant Landscapes. The new works see the home extend outward and upward, deeper into its site. Transitioning between the old and the new, the formal and more separated origins of the home are opened up to shared living, kitchen and dining spaces, with generous glazing to connect to the landscape. The original sense of proportion of the home is carried on and interpreted through an openness and increased visibility. The insertion of a double-height stair at the centre of the home allows for the vertical elevation to the upper level and acts together with the central courtyard  to bring generous light down into the otherwise dark hallway.

A heroic curved glass wall sits at the rear as the softened transition between the built and the landscape. Similar curves are brought internally and expressed through joinery, the kitchen and the selection of furniture, while also reinforcing a free-flowing sense of movement through the home. A palette of lighter and textural finishes helps to lighten the home and enable the incoming natural light to interact and expand on a sense of scale. In ensuring the home continues its legacy, the use of long wearing and durable finishes ensures a timelessness carries through from the old into the new and supports the everyday functions of family life.

A palette of lighter and textural finishes helps to lighten the home and enable the incoming natural light to interact and expand on a sense of scale.

A series of soft transitions between the original features and the new volumes, emphasised by a clean sense of restraint, ensure the ideas of craft and heightened detail carry throughout the home and across its eras. Through the considered work of Byrant Alsop Architects, Lysterville effortlessly expresses both its chapters.

Published 19 November, 2021
Photography  Emily Bartlett
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