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
Net Engineer: Tensys
Landscape Architects: Bush Projects