Much care has been taken by Rob Kennon architects to pay respect to the heritage significance of this Fitzroy home. Operating within the existing bones, Rob Kennon and his team navigated the renovation around original features. With thick, internal bluestone walls as the compass centre, a new bathroom, living area and kitchen have been introduced. Upstairs, two side-by-side elongated bedrooms feed off a secondary study/play space, and are connected by a shared light shaft.
No detail was spared in the new proposal. References to the original hall, stairwell and landing walls are made via cement sheet-clad walls, lending an unexpected surface texture which mimics natural stone. European Oak has been used across storage and cabinetry, in a nod to the aged Baltic Pine flooring found in the front room and on the staircase. Meanwhile, the entire rear of the home can now be completely opened up to a tiny, lush backyard, via sleek folding glass doors.
‘The kitchen is enveloped in history,’ explain the architects in reference to the magnificent original, hand-chiselled bluestone boulders and archway that so aptly summarise the original era (you can almost hear the horse and carriage roll down Gertrude Street). A new ‘picture frame’ opening in this robust stone wall connects past and present (…and the kitchen to the living area) through the introduction of light and activity.
To so seamlessly integrate the old with new on a heritage site, requires extreme sensitivity from everyone involved. ‘This project required a sustained commitment and dialogue between all contributors,’ the architects said, who were in this case ‘a dedicated and passionate hands-on client; an open-minded, wise and patient local builder; adaptable local tradespeople; and architects who understood the value of well-defined and regular communication the ensure the concept was realised all the to the end’.
Here’s to another 150 years in Fitzroy!