Emily Armstrong Architects
East Melbourne, VIC, Australia
The concept behind this design was to seamlessly update this majestic, heritage building without losing a sense of its history. The clients, both full-time professional, wanted a weekday base; a house that was easy to maintain, efficient, one that they could easily close the door on and vacate for the weekend. This was successfully achieved through a full redesign of the ground floor layout, including stripping back a previous 90’s renovation. The space was opened up, to improve movement through it, windows were added to introduce more light and air, and previous unusable dead space was repurposed. The original, steep, staircase was replaced and the second floor was also completely re-fit; with the master bedroom/walk-in-robe/ensuite reconfigured.
Modern and sustainable systems now operate the house; high-tech security, sound systems, solar panels and water tanks; the integration of the two ensure its efficiency and longevity. The interiors reflect a careful consideration of both the contemporary and heritage; antiques were refinished, to sit alongside contemporary joinery with classic brass hardware; sleek steel and brass details pop against classic wall finishes and stones throughout; wallpapers and heritage skirts are highlighted by contemporary lighting in bathrooms. The elements that made this project particularly special were the antique furnishings and lighting, which were all restored, refinished and some even combined to form new pieces (such as the staircase pendant light); all in the name of modernising a classic.