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Extended And Updated In Albert Park


Tandem is a multidisciplinary design studio founded by James Murray and Tim Hill in 2005, who met while working for Lab Architecture Studio on Federation Square!

With sustainability always in mind, their redevelopment of this heritage-listed Albert Park terrace house is a prime example of their persistence, clever design and innovative problem-solving.

9th March, 2018

A view of the new extension – a double-storey garden pavilion. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Tandem opened up the ground floor, repositioned the kitchen and rebuilt the stair, adding a vented skylight to fill the space with natural light. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Details of the repositioned and updated kitchen. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Detail of the opened up ground level in the original home. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Warm timber accents are contrasted by robust materials like brick and concrete. Artwork by Fred Fowler. Photo – Dean Bradley.

The star of the show is a new, two storey garden pavilion, with a courtyard on one side and the rear yard on the other. A glass hallway with study links the old terrace with the new building. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Living room detail with Fred Fowler painting. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Robust concrete textures are softened with bright colours and soft furnishings. Photo – Dean Bradley.

The new space looking into the old house. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Extensive renovations were made to the second level bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry, including functional storage solutions. Photo – Dean Bradley.

A look into the newly renovated upstairs bathroom. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Exterior of the new extension. Photo – Dean Bradley.

Photography – Dean Bradley.

Sally Tabart
Friday 9th March 2018

A run-down heritage-listed terrace house in Albert Park presented a challenging brief for Tandem. The Melbourne design studio was enlisted to update and extend the property to fit the needs of a young family, whilst maintaining the heritage streetscape.  That meant constant interaction with the council and A LOT of red tape!

‘The site was constrained, the neighbours were very interested in the plans, and the council was fussy’, Tandem’s Tim Hill admits, ‘we had to work hard with the council…  eventually taking our hand-built cardboard and balsa model to show them how it would look.’

It was the balsa wood mode that did the trick, and the Tandem team set to work. They introduced natural light and ventilation at every opportunity, rebuilding the stair and adding a new vented skylight. Extensive renovations were made to the bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry, including lots of new storage. Repositioning the kitchen and opening up the ground level reinvigorated the flow of the home, allowing it to transition seamlessly into its new form: a two-storey garden pavillion.  

The result is a cohesive, functional family home that comprises two distinct components, linked by a glass hallway. The home is at once strikingly modern and relaxed – it has that lived-in feel that differentiates a house from a home, with warm timber accents softening robust  concrete and brickwork surfaces. The floor-to-ceiling glass openings encircle the interior spaces with greenery, thanks to a courtyard on one side and the rear garden on the other.

In line with Tandem’s sustainability-led design philosophy, Tim encourages homeowners to consider working with the original structures of their homes before opting to rebuild.

‘Many Melbourne terraces are dark and gloomy… opening up the plan, introducing vented skylights and bringing in garden can make a world of difference to an existing house,’ he explains,  ‘the terrace is a great housing model in achieving high density while maintaining individual property ownership. Working to improve our existing house stock, rather than knocking it down, is a great way to improve our city’. Hear hear! 

Working to improve our existing house stock, rather than knocking it down, is a great way to improve our city’. – Tim Hill, Tandem Studio. 

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