When Anne Hindley of Hindley & Co architecture and interior design first pulled up to a curb of this property in Newtown, Victoria, she describes being thrilled at a ‘gorgeous mid-century home.’ She explains that the property was ‘obviously much loved by its owners, but in need of TLC’. The 1960s home, while aesthetically appealing with great architectural bones, suffered from ‘poorly arranged space planning and pokey laundries and bathrooms.’
Updating the home without eroding its history was a priority for one of the clients, who had spent his boyhood in the property. Anne highlights, ‘we were presented this delicious opportunity to reinterpret the home for his new family with young children.’ The new design ensures the strong memories and narratives of the past are woven into a new future for the home, making way for new experiences and memories in this cherished family property.
Anne explains that the major intervention in the renovation was to ‘unblock blockages: walls and windows blocked views and flow.’ The architects connected the home to its surrounding site through carving out views and framing the landscape – as well as reconsidering the spatial flow of family movement inside the house.
In addition to these large structural alterations, small ‘surreptitious’ changes bring a contemporary edge to the mid-century aesthetic. New timber framed double glazed windows are a subtle insertion, bringing thermal improvement and material longevity. Anne explains how these design tweaks are aesthetically ‘era specific’, as well as reframing the home and creating a bigger and freer space.
Australia is lucky to have a swag of mid-century housing stock, and Anne highlights the role of advocates such as Tim Ross, Patricia Callan and Peter Bakacs of Modernist Australia in protecting these properties from demolition. The Newtown Home illustrates the joy of bringing mid-century design into the 21st century while retaining the qualities that make this era of design so celebrated. Anne enthuses, ‘modernising a delightful mid-century home, and fine-tuning it to create immersive and meaningful experiences for our clients has been an absolute delight for us on this project.’