Innercity Downsize House
Steffen Welsch Architects
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
From The Architect
This double fronted Victorian has a north-south block in North Fitzroy. Bedrooms at the front celebrate light and warmth, while southern living rooms are dim and cold. Our idea was to bring in sunlight and enlarge the home. We needed to find the right hybrid balance of interior and exterior in restricted space.
The home comprises three bedrooms and a bathroom from the existing house, and a novel open-plan kitchen, dining and living room in a rear extension. This novel space features prudently placed apertures, introducing differing light qualities and vistas and a unique complexity – an element of surprise to the house. The obvious solution could have been a fully glazed building – this project illustrates our resolve to thrust the design further.
Clerestory double glazed windows in the new living areas attract northern light throughout winter. A recycled brick freestanding fireplace gives warmth. Eaves and a retractable awning over the courtyard inhibits summer glare. High set operable windows vacate heat.
Wall to wall cabinetry along with timber-clad feature shelving offers plentiful storage, while a distinguished palette of timber, charcoal stone tiles, and white wash walls offer a fresh aesthetic for the renewed house.