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This House Is A Love Letter To Fitzroy

Architecture

Last Friday night in Melbourne, the 2018 Victorian Architecture Awards were announced. In each category, there is one overall winner (the ‘Named’ winner), alongside multiple ‘Architecture Awards’ and ‘Commendations’. With up to 50 entries in some categories, taking out that singular ‘Named’ prize is a seriously big deal.

So, we were more than a little chuffed to see one of our favourite local architecture firms take out the The John and Phyllis Murphy Award for best alteration/addition to a residential house! Austin Maynard Architects were awarded the accolade for their outstanding Fitzroy project, King Bill.

2nd July, 2018

The unique ‘King Bill’ House by Austin Maynard architects recently won The John and Phyllis Murphy Award for best alteration/addition at the Victorian Architecture Awards. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The project is comprised of a renovation and extension of a double-storey terrace house and neighbouring garden. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The distinguishing and unifying feature of King Bill is the corrugated colorbond steel metal cladding. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

As well as a significant design feature, the pop-put corrugated steel cladding offers practical applications such as shade and to guide rain water. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The enrichment of the garden to contribute greenery to the street were huge considerations for both Austin Maynard and the clients. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Original brick walls have been retained within the new renovation and extension. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The playful mezzanine netting area faces is a unique spot to soak up the sun in front of north-facing windows. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

At King Bill Austin Maynard Architects set out to completely re-think the terrace house and the principles that created them. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Sustainability is a core principle for the King Bill house. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The owners were enthusiastic to have curves reflected in many aspects of the house. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Details of the linking corridor. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

All new work aims to maximise available daylight while ensuring that summer sun does not hit the glass. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The bathroom wall slides back to reveal an elevated, netted area (an adult’s playground!). Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Bathroom details: ARBLU Tulip basin, mirrored cabinet and storage cabinet. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The impressive external view offering an overheard view into the light-filled corridor that links the old with new. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

‘King Bill’ is the innovative solution to a family’s ‘forever home’. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

King Bill is more than just a ‘forever home’, it’s a member of the family.

Described by the architects as ‘a love letter to Fitzroy’, this house is an homage to the inner city suburb’s eclectic streetscape, with its grungy laneways, and a patchwork of grand old red brick Victorian homes, weatherboard cottages, old factories and new development.

The project is a renovation and extension of a double story Victorian house built in 1850, and its neighbouring garden. Initially, separate lots, the house and garden were recently consolidated into a single title. It was the Architect’s challenge to expand on the footprint and amenity of the existing heritage home, without over-developing the site.

In a neighbourhood where high land value pushes many homeowners to squeeze as much ‘house’ as possible onto tight inner city blocks, this home is a refreshing deviation from the norm. The owners sought a more creative, nuanced solution which would increase living space slightly but would also retain much of the garden, resulting in a dwelling surrounded by lush green views, and a home that is open and connected to the surrounding suburb.

Austin Maynard Architects designed a new glass corridor running along the eastern exterior wall of the original terrace, linking the existing house with an old stable at the rear of the property – now a garage and parents retreat. A new modern pavilion was also added, housing a new kitchen, living and dining space.

An eclectic materials palette speaks to the ‘patchwork’ nature of the surrounding suburb, bringing together curved corrugated Colorbond, polish concrete, recycled brick, floor to ceiling glass and timber floors and internal lining.

As with many of Austin Maynard’s projects, this house has a uniquely anthropomorphised character. It’s playful and friendly, it encourages human interaction, and even seems to smile at passers-by. All in all, King Bill is more than just a ‘forever home’ for its owners, it’s a member of the family.

Project Team : Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Kathryne Houchin, Ray Dinh
Builder: CBD Contracting
Engineer: Hive
Net Engineer: Tensys
Landscape Architects: Bush Projects

Follow Austin Maynard Architects on Instagram @AustinMaynardArchitects and Twitter @AndrewMaynard.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net