Conceived From Within – Montague Street House by Noxon Architecture
South Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Uniquely conceived from within, the principles of experience underpinning Montague ensure the resulting home is deliberate and considered. Noxon Architecture combines an explorative approach with subtleties of light and spatial understanding to mould a home of purpose, responding to its clients and a restrictive site.
Nestled into the tightly woven urban enclave of South Melbourne, Montague takes form as the renovation and expansion of an existing Edwardian era home. In responding to the modern condition of living within connected and open spaces, the principles that underpin the new works are centred on connection. Both in the resulting spatial sensibilities as well as the engagement with the surrounding site, Montague is a home that has been imagined from the inside, with an emphasis on experience. The carefully considered and deliberate interventions and expansion see the home emerge in answer to how the family use their spaces and how they interact. Noxon Architecture has created a contemporary home that not only extends the previous legacy but creates a multitude of opportunities for reflection and meditation, making the home a true place of restoration.
Noxon Architecture has created a contemporary home that not only extends the previous legacy but creates a multitude of opportunities for reflection and meditation, making the home a true place of restoration.
Sitting behind the original Edwardian structure, the new emerges as a counterbalance to the old while also respectfully sitting alongside of it. The new gestures are introduced in modest and subtle ways to ensure a sense of continuity is felt across all of the spaces, and the home’s many parts feel deliberately connected. Working within the restrictive site as an overtly linear passage, heritage overlay considerations and overlooking neighbours, the response needed to be carefully interwoven and be an expression of compacted need. Sitting to the rear of the existing roof cavity is an open terrace that offers a secluded and elevated connection to the elements and tree canopies, acting as a symbol of transition between the old and new. Looking to open up from within, the ceiling plane is carved into to allow natural light to naturally flood the spaces and create a connection with the rolling clouds and ever-changing climate of Melbourne proper.
The double-levelled volume to the rear houses a parent retreat on the upper level, while a new living, dining and kitchen space connects to the rear landscaped courtyard space below. Maximising the full potential of the site, the emphasis is on the interior experience, and with limited outdoor space, ensuring these key connections to the natural (from eye level and above) was crucial. A clear focus is on the home as a place to in which to retreat and recharge, which is beautifully expressed through a myriad of intimate nooks that act as an equaliser to the more open and connected gathering spaces. The contrast between the darkened and recessive colours of the exterior also counter the light and lofty interiors and reinforce the experience of the home as being one radiating from within.
Looking to open up from within, the ceiling plane is carved into to allow natural light to naturally flood the spaces and create a connection with the rolling clouds and ever-changing climate of Melbourne proper.
Montague is conceived on principles around experience and light and in turn, Noxon Architecture has respectfully expanded and extended the previous home’s narrative to embrace its site and fulfil its potential as a considered and connected abode.