This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Art Lovers' Updated Mid-Century Home

Architecture

Designed by architect C.C. Sainsbury in 1957, this Melbourne home has been transformed for a modern family.

The sensitive extension by Foomann Architects adds bedrooms, a new kitchen, laundry, plus more storage and space for showcasing art (a necessity with which we can definitely relate!!).

4th September, 2018

The Ormond residence was designed by architect C.C. Sainsbury in 1957. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

Corten has been utilised to tie the addition in with the existing timber and brick exterior. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

Inside the family’s house, which was originally a war-services home. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

Original 50’s entrance. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

The new kitchen. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

The update set out to better showcase the family’s amazing art collection. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

The stair window perfectly frames the neighbour’s silver birch tree. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

New staircase details. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

The renovation added two kids’ bedrooms. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

Light comes in where the ceiling angles intersect. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Esme Parker. Curation – Clark Art.

Elle Murrell
Tuesday 4th September 2018

‘This design is modernist and exuberant’. – Jamie Sormann, Fooman Architects.

Meet ‘Ruby’ (as this dreamy Mid-Century home on Ruby Street is affectionately known). Designed by architect C.C. Sainsbury and built in 1957, this year the family home received the most elegant of updates from Melbourne’s Foomann Architects.

‘Our research into war-services homes, which this is one of, revealed a mix of options typically more conservative than Ruby,’ tells co-director Jo Foong. ‘This design is modernist and exuberant; which is both a reflection of the first owner and our current clients,’ chimes in co-director Jamie Sormann.

The home now comprises a new building of two different heights, though both complement the angle of the existing roof. Robust Corten, with its ‘rusted’ finish, has been utilised to tie the addition in with the rich timber and brick of the original exterior. Inside, the home’s new varying volumes make for dynamic spaces, especially where ceilings join and triangular windows draw in light.

Architects Jo and Jamie spent time hanging out with clients Amanda and Ben Clark of Clark Art to help gain an understanding of their tastes and personalities – which energised the entire process. ‘They had no preconceived solutions and challenged us to be bold and surprising in our design approach,’ recalls Jamie.

For the clients, this renovation was centred on gaining space (bedrooms for their two kids), a new kitchen, laundry and more storage, as well as better showcasing their beautiful art collection and extensive library of books.

The resultant stair and associated joinery solutions have achieved those aims to spectacular effect. ‘This insertion solves a lot of the brief; it displays small sculpture and books while concealing storage and a laundry. It’s a complicated 3D puzzle and the proudest we’ve ever been of a laundry!’ details architect Jo.

Foomann called on frequent collaborators Fido Projects as builders. Their greatest challenge was intertwined with the project’s major highlight – accommodating all the quirks of this distinctive 1950’s house! ‘It’s nice to work with a building that was designed in a modernist spirit; however, the raked forms and deep eaves were a challenging foundation for a first-floor extension,’ says Jamie. ‘Our approach took time to evolve,’ adds Jo, ‘We are pleased with the overall composition created by our new forms, and the dynamic internal spaces they provide’.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

Matt and Carly Skinner

A very special home in Melbourne's bayside suburb of Beaumaris.

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped by Brave New Eco, with wheel chair access in mind.

Homes

A Lovingly Restored 1960s 'Sibbel House' In Melbourne’s North East

This classic suburban home is everything an Australian home should be - robust, relaxed and full of authentic character.

This Week

News

A Starlight Summer Festival To Begin In Heide’s Sculpture Park

Get your socialising mojo back with this cultural program of dance events, music acts and Indigenous storytelling at Heide Museum of Modern
Sponsored

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Studio Visit

Dive Into The Colourful, Creative World of Melbourne's Designer-Of-The-Moment, Danielle Brustman

Know her name but not her story? Welcome to the vibrant world of designer Danielle Brustman, at her incredible studio in Collingwood Yards!
Sasha Gattermayr

Furniture

The Tradie Brotherhood Behind Our Newest Furniture Obsession

Brothers Jack and Mark Fearon combine their experience as a plumber and boilermaker to create the most colourful, characterful furniture goi...
Sasha Gattermayr
42:51

Podcast

TDF Talks with Plant Designer, Jenna Holmes of Plant Mama

In this podcast conversation, Jenna of 'Plant Mama' and 'Pasta Mama' shares how she has built and grown two very different businesses from t...

Architecture

A Sleek, Surprising Reworking Of A Victorian Cottage

A humble but innovative extension by Blair Smith Architecture has totally modernised this Victorian cottage in Brunswick.

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.
Sasha Gattermayr
  13 hours ago

Stays

This Revitalised Motel With Old Hollywood Vibes Is Byron Bay's Newest Design Destination

A little bit Los Angeles, a little bit Ibiza, this beautiful new accommodation in the heart of the Northern Rivers is a showcase of local de...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!
Amelia Barnes
  Less than an hour ago

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr
  16 hours ago

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace That Plays Design Gymnastics!

Melbourne's colour masters Wowowa are back with another clever Victorian renovation!
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...
Lucy Feagins
  24 hours ago

News

Swoon-Worthy Luggage For The Perfect Weekend Escape

Local luggage experts July prep us for the summer of local travel with the slick new ‘Daybreak’ range.
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Homes

Matt and Carly Skinner

A very special home in Melbourne's bayside suburb of Beaumaris.

Homes

Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

A post-war home in Melbourne's inner west is cleverly revamped, with wheel chair access.

Homes

A Lovingly Restored 1960s 'Sibbel House' In Melbourne’s North East

This classic suburban home is everything an Australian home should be - robust, relaxed and full of authentic character.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.