Grand Dame – Princes Hill Residence by Melanie Beynon Architecture
Honouring the grandeur of the home’s origins, Melanie Beynon Architecture continues a connection to craft and considered detailing in Princes Hill Residence. The team draws from the narrative of the Edwardian-era home to expand and open it, readying the spaces for what is to come.
There exists an almost untold duty to maintain and preserve connections to the past when renovating historic houses. In maintaining the existing rhythm already in place along the street, Princes Hill Residence is stripped back and restored. The alterations to the North-Carlton-based home were triggered by the owners when embarking upon changes to create a flowing and open family home. The creation of the combined living, dining and kitchen space to the rear was integral to supporting those incoming changes.
Focusing on an approach that was timeless and site specific, Melanie Beynon Architecture responds to the structure with measured grace. With impressive 4-metre ceilings, there existed an unexpected feeling of expansion already in place, and carrying that through into the new was key. It would have felt like a missed opportunity to cease such volumes when considering the newly defined communal space, as would not retaining the existing and established roof height. In pulling the overall form to the rear, an additional level is added, utilising the cavity in the ceiling to tuck additional bedrooms and areas to recharge within.
Within the new space, the kitchen is centrally relocated as an important convening hub for everyday life. The integration of added natural light across both old and new zones helps reduce energy use and create a consistent lightness throughout. The arched forms of the original home are also carried forward and are referenced in furniture selections, joinery and newly constructed openings. The result sees soft transitions and an emphasis on warmth and comfort. Together with rich detailing, the parquetry timber flooring and panelling flows naturally from each zone to the next.
In respectfully enhancing the beauty of Princes Hill Residence, the original narrative is enriched. Overlaying elegance with restraint, Melanie Beynon Architecture ensures the resulting addition and restoration works idyllically complement the existing.