Contemporary Crafting – Northcote Residence by EME Design
Through an examination of light and how it engages with the existing site, Northcote Residence is extended and revised to allow for a more openly connected home. EME Design responds to the original Victorian-era detailing of the structure with a similar crafted and attuned approach, sculpting the new to stagger over multiple levels and be consistently outwardly connected.
Located in its namesake to the north of Melbourne, the original Victorian-era form’s restoration was key to continuing the rhythm of the streetscape. In adding much needed amenities throughout, an extension that spreads over two levels is woven into the rear of the existing, engaging with the landscape and allowing a more open feeling from within. Looking to the patterns made by the sun, and how they interacted with the form already in place, the new is proposed as an optimisation of natural light and solar gains, ensuring the internal spaces feel connected beyond their bounding walls. EME Design extrudes the form and, through a linear and restrained approach, composes the addition as a modest insertion among the landscape.
As an updated alignment to how contemporary homes are occupied, the new open volume to the rear is imagined as an accommodation for the fluxes of family life. The need for an open and connected area to gather is remedied with the new form, which combines the kitchen, dining and living areas on the ground floor. Allowing an open flow between inside and out, extensive glazing connects the interior with the surrounding natural elements, whilst the established trees reinforce a sense of privacy and enclosure. An existing tower is used as the connecting element between old and new and firmly anchors the home in place.
Nestled below the uppermost height of the original tower form, the addition sits respectfully without overshadowing the existing structure. Honouring the original weighted nature of the masonry of the Victorian plaster details, the new form is comprised of limestone and timber elements. Adjusting the original form to be more open allows an ease of flow between old and new, and ensures the residence feels conceived of from the same ideation. The constraints of the historical structure were used as guidelines to motion the response to site, resulting in a warm and textural family home that engages its surrounds.