Delineating a Modern Extension – Malvern East by Wyk Architecture
Malvern East, VIC, Australia

Photography Dave Kulesza
Styling Bea Lambos
Architecture Wyk Architecture
Words Lauren Jones

A new two-storey addition echoes the original vernacular of the heritage Mavern East bungalow, yet Wyk Architecture purposefully juxtaposes the old with the new to allow the original home’s form to be clearly read while offering clients, a young family, room to grow.

For Wyk Architecture Director Kathy Grigoriu, an addition and renovation that copied the existing structure was not the right approach to the heritage Malvern East dwelling. Instead, the new build would be delineated and pay respect to the original 1920s home through complementary forms and materiality with a clear point between the old and new, which is a defining theme for this project. “It allows the heritage to stand apart and be recognised for what it originally was, a single-storey bungalow,” Kathy says.

The clients, a family with three young children, came to Wyk Architecture seeking a place where they could have room to grow and entertain.

The clients, a family with three young children, came to Wyk Architecture seeking a place where they could have room to grow and entertain. Having lived in a small bungalow, this home would need to suit the family at this point in time, plus cater to the needs of their future teenagers and beyond. While the initial brief was to focus on the main spaces, like the kitchen, living and dining rooms, ample light was also another major consideration, with care taken that the south-west extension would receive enough natural light through the day. The two-storey skylight void and glass stairwell, which is the preeminent feature dividing the old house to the new, also acts to add light to this heritage property.

Historically, this neighbourhood, the Villers- Bretonneux Area, was one of the largest War Service Estates in Victoria, the result of land that was subdivided in the 1920s to provide for returning soldiers from the first World War. The overarching goal for the renovation of this home, which was built in during that time, was to preserve its character. Today, the second storey peeks over the top of the traditional terracotta roof, which lines up with the heritage façade of the street below.

The new cantilevered gable form takes its cue from the traditional gable roof while, “the dining area creates the point of delineation at ground level from the old with a recessed garden nook that’s enclosed in glass providing a view of the heritage dwelling and the pool area from the dining and kitchen,” Kathy adds. Felder’s Prominence clads the two-storey form, contributing to a clean line, minimal aesthetic, while the existing building has a weatherboard cladding with white and grey to complement the Colorbond Steel Surfmist Matt cladding.

Throughout the home, the same neutral, classic aesthetic that is seen on the outside is evident inside. The flooring, a combination of 150mm chevron and 190mm-wide straight plank, is by Melbourne-based flooring company Made by Storey. Chevron was laid in the new areas, while plank went into the existing, “again playing on the theme of defining the old and new,” Kathy says. The flooring is one of the stand-out finishes in the project, adding texture and warmth, and a further layer of depth and refinement. While this was the first time the architects worked with the local brand, they have since specified their product for several other projects. “They take the time and care to work with the builder to achieve an outstanding result. Made by Storey were one of the best trades to work with and the installers themselves take great pride in achieving a perfect result,” she says.

When it comes to the layout, the house has been divided into clear zones. The ground level addition is the primary living area alongside the rear garden and pool. It is where day-to-day living occurs, where the family spends most of their time and where the children have access to the outdoors. The original structure is more for relaxation, with a lounge room and fireplace, a study and a guest room that could also act as a grandparent’s suite one day. This multigenerational approach to the home makes it that much more timeless.

With the more active areas of the home on the ground floor, the upstairs addition houses the master bedroom and the children’s bedrooms.“Providing the bathroom areas for one boy and two girls needed to be flexible and functional, the wet areas were designed as a series of rooms, a separate powder room, a separate shower room and a bathroom that could be shared by the girls. This allows the family to all get ready for the day at the same time, without competing for each of these spaces,” Kathy says.

Made by Storey were one of the best trades to work with and the installers themselves take great pride in achieving a perfect result.”

Through this highly intentional and considerate approach to this heritage dwelling, Wyk Architecture ensures the renovation marks the beginning of a new story, both for the family and for the home itself.

Published 11 February, 2021
Photography  Dave Kulesza
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