A Conversation of Contrasts - Malvern Residence by Proske Architects
Malvern, SA, Australia
A conversation of contrasts, Malvern Residence sees a convergence of styles co-exist as a reference for preservation and convenience. Respectfully celebrating the existing, Proske Architects’ contemporary extension exists as a complement, not in competition with the original residential style.
Together with Sofiaa Interior Design, Proske Architects were tasked with the extension to an existing Jacobean villa in one of Adelaide’s leafy green inner-city suburbs. Traditionally ornate, the existing aesthetic of the original home was typical of its Jacobean style, referencing a second phase of Renaissance architecture in England following the Elizabethan style in the early 1600s. Having made its way to Australia, the style and its importance in architectural history is one of considerable conservation value. The architects’ response to this through a contemporary lens saw a conversation of contrasts naturally emerge.
The extension is essentially a hard contemporary addition, separated from the original by a glazed walkway. The linear glass formal element allows for a sense of relief between the two styles, allowing for a void that gives the two styles room to breathe and co-exist in harmony – it is their meeting point of sorts. Emerging from this meeting point is the contemporary, expressed through stripped-back materiality, raw beautifully graded concrete structural walls, floating timber connecting levels and a deliberate sense of openness and connection between the internal zones. Imperative for its existence within the contemporary typology is the connection to the external, which is emphasised by way of large operable glazed walls, folding back on themselves.
Built by Fairweather Davies, the new build sees a series of open living spaces, supporting amenity, a shared social kitchen and integrated landscape elements added. Remaining in the existing are the sleeping and rest areas, as a nod to its past and its historical reference. The new then becomes the place for more active function, and where purposed integration and visual connection can occur. Through careful planning, large interconnected living spaces also wrap around external courtyards as an extension of the internal rooms.
Built to house its current custodians’ growing needs, the extension that forms Malvern Residence sees a respectful and uncompromising addition to an applauded style of architectural history. Proske Architects have partnered with a team of like-minded and equally conscious designers who share their and the clients’ vision for the site. The resulting contemporary form expresses itself in its own timeless and classic manner almost with zero adornment, allowing the existing to express itself and its adornment as a badge of honour.