When Jade Vidal, co-director of Bower Architecture and Interiors, first encountered this 1960s home in Caulfield, he was struck by the mid-century aesthetic, but could see the need to bring the 20th century past into a 21st century now. The brief was to rediscover and celebrate the home’s original features, and create additional spaces with ‘hints of whimsy and glamour (but not glitz).’ A balance of bringing the past to life, while imagining the future.
Externally, the home maintains its mid-century appearance, and as you walk through the Eckersley Garden Architecture designed front garden, you arrive at the new white geometric screening that references the homes’ original metalwork. Inside, the palette reflects the original materials of the construction era with timber, stone, and glimpses of 60s wallpaper. Jade explains the approach as one of ‘stitching together the old and new, so that a consistent thread was maintained throughout, with both bold and restrained gestures that, when experienced together, felt right.’
The layout has been reimagined to create a kids’ level, with two bedrooms, a family bathroom and retreat, which allows for modern living without dismantling the original frontage.
For the architects, this project was an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of a heritage renovation that builds upon the past, rather than replicating it. The renovations also encourage a strong relationship between the landscape, as part of daily life, as traditionally, mid-century architecture demarcated these zones.
The clients also played a key role in this renovation, working with Bower to select classic modernist furniture to bring a rich final layer to the interior spaces.
From the generous living space to the secret powder room, every aspect of this project considers how to marry the past, present and future. The result? A resolved family home that feels simply like it was ‘meant to be.’