Star Architecture

Elwood House

Elwood, VIC, Australia

James Lyall Smith

Project Type
  • Residential
  • Elwood, VIC, Australia
Lead Architect
  • Aleksandra Savic Rakocevic
Interior Designers
  • 400m2
Project Year
  • 2017
  • Peter Bennetts
ESD Consultant
Landscape Architect
  • Elwood, VIC, Australia

Elwood House by Star Architecture is the restoration of a large family home located in the Victorian suburb of Elwood.

For this project the team at Star Architecture restored the house’s original heritage Californian bungalow front and added a new streamlined two storey extension at the rear.

The entire restoration of the heritage front included an overhaul of the façade brickwork, a new cobbled bluestone driveway, formal landscaping, and repair of interior details creating leadlight windows, timber hardwood floors, ornamental skirtings, elaborate architraves and decorative plasterwork ceilings. The entire process brought the building back to life by reinstating its formal grandeur.

The new ground floor addition is juxtaposed with the original front as a streamlined box with floor-to-ceiling glazing, aluminium doors and windows, limestone tiled floor and marble detailing. The transparent box soaks up the natural northern and western light and utilises reflection from the existing pool to further bounce light around the internal space. It is a bright, spacious centre for gathering, sharing and enjoying the connection to the garden, barbeque and pool. The junction between old and new is distinct but fluid. A central spinal hallway links the two halves of the building with walls extending from front to back in a continuous line, creating a long, framed vista.

The new first floor addition distinguishes itself from the more transparent ground floor as a solid monolithic box. Although solid, the off-white rough-cast rendered box seems to float above the building below and to rise and disappear into the sky. It is offset from and overhanging the ground floor envelope, providing shading below and moderating the bulk of the overall mass. Spotted gum elements feature throughout the building uniting the two different levels. On the ground floor, new windows are framed with timber, referencing the formal heritage detailing elsewhere. Timber screens are used on the façade of the new extension, softening the robust box against the heritage façade.

Interior finishes and joinery were designed with Fiona Lynch. The selection of tactile materials, lustrous finishes, rich colours and sleek detailing complement the architectural forms and add another layer of design integrity to the house.

Ultimately the Elwood House by Star Architecture provides the multi-dimensionality and flexibility needed for a modern family which is reflected in a range of architectural styles and materials from different eras that have been successfully integrated as an elegant, contemporary home.

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Peter Bennetts

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