Beautifully muted, Park Life returns the home to the Garden City principles – integrating the home with its gardens and streetscapes – on which it was founded. Architecture Architecture brings a sensitivity to materiality and craft to this vision, creating an extension that immerses itself in its surrounds.
Park Life is located in an Estate Heritage Precinct, which stands as an exemplar in its preservation of the early 1940s Housing Commission of Victoria estates. Located in Williamstown North, Park Life is an extension of the home’s original footprint that taps into and expands on the Commission’s vision to unify the residential landscape from a masterplan level. Circulating and radiating from a central shared landscaped element, the houses were designed as a connected assemblage – with the houses, gardens and streetscapes acting as extensions of one another. From this seed, Architecture Architecture’s inspiration for Park Life was born and was brought to live through the ensuing sensitivity to materiality and craft.
With architecture and interiors by Architecture Architecture, Park Life is built by JTR Construct and actively and deliberately engages the streetscape and garden. Acting as an extension of the home, the proposed artist’s studio sits between the residential and pavilion structures. Its curvature is testament to its creative intent and a nod to the meandering and welcoming pathways that lead us through gardens and into our homes. On one side the curvature gently encourages movement and, on the other, it provides a secluded courtyard of privacy. Expressed through materiality, the curves are softly emphasised through texture and subtle tactility.
Alterations to the existing home are subtle but substantial and allow a contemporary repurposing of internal zones and a creation of hierarchy between active and passive retreat zones. Extending outward, the proposed living space creates a connection between the studio and the original home, again utilising a diagonal geometry to guide movement and create a sense of physical connection. The combined use of rendered brickwork, concrete, timber and porcelain all come together to create a subtle warmth. The colour cues taken from the surrounding landscape and gardens are clear and connects the new to the old.
Park Life is a study of subtleties, where form, colour and texture are used to softly connect the more regular and static elements. True to the original intent of the Commission’s vision, the immersion of the residential into a connected streetscape and communal garden setting is achieved effortlessly. Architecture Architecture has blurred thresholds through expressing craft and materiality and adding amenity with an acute awareness of sensitivities.