Classical Curiosity – Ruckers Hill House by Studio Bright
Northcote, VIC, Australia
Referencing the traditional forms and inherent spirit of its original Edwardian bones, Ruckers Hill House proposes a refreshing address to the streetscape. Studio Bright combines an understanding of form with a classic sense of proportion and a playful curiosity.
Positioned in Melbourne’s north, Ruckers Hill House sits among familiar heritage and period neighbours in Northcote. Imagined as an extension of the original home, beautifully detailed and appropriate to the Edwardian style, the proposed is an exercise in expansion coupled with an injection of contemporary values. Addressing the streetscape, the new works offer a refreshing addition and sense of relief from the traditional neighbouring adjacencies and take cues from the classical proportions of the original form and scale. Studio Bright’s reinterpretation of these elements sees an ordered and restrained sensibility combine with a playful sense of curiosity and rhythm internally.
Addressing the streetscape, the new works offer a refreshing addition and sense of relief from the traditional neighbouring adjacencies and take cues from the classical proportions of the original form and scale.
Built by 4AD Constructions, together with landscape by MJR Landscape, Ruckers Hill House is the result of a holistic approach. Each new element speaks to the same considered order of a less contemporary vintage, where the original elements of the home are restored and their detail celebrated as an extension of the new. The addition extends the length of the site, hugging the boundary and optimising the site’s potential. The resulting mass carves out its own generously-lit pool and garden area that sits nicely tucked away from the street and creates a separate series of living spaces. The expression of the form is intended to replicate a garden pavilion and intentionally not overwhelm the site of the existing home’s features.
Studio Bright combines an understanding of form with a classic sense of proportion and a playful curiosity.
Each of the proposed new spaces speaks to both a sense of connection and agility, where functionality and program can be easily interchanged at any one time. Studio Bright brought this element of flexibility to the project to allow for the expected growth and evolution of the needs of its owners, through moving drapery elements and stepped level changes. The new works are spread over two stories, where the lower level houses the living room and music space, and the upper level sees the creation of two multi-purpose spaces that co-exist as a library, guest space, and study. Connecting each of these to the garden and outdoor space, and to the existing, is the inverted Roman aqueduct structure that creates a bridge. Its presence sits as a gestural cue to the transition from the old and the new, and boldly connects the two through a rhythmic formality.
Combining a fresh contemporary approach that is both playful and unexpected with the more rational and repetitive elements of transitional architectural styles, Studio Bright brings a sense of refinement to the design. Ruckers Hill House beautifully unites its bold and monolithic large formal elements together to respectfully reference the home’s original scale and proportion. The result is one that responds to the now, the past, and has an open and inviting outlook toward its future.