Wolveridge Architects were engaged to design this home in Ascot Vale twice; once as a conventional two storey ‘box’ type structure, then again as an interwar inspired gable-roof home, after a heritage overlay was introduced to the area. This redesign was naturally very stressful for the clients, requiring the assistance of a heritage consultant and the approval of a local tribunal.
While this house doesn’t immediately scream ‘art deco’, there are subtle details reflective of the neighbourhood’s architectural history. Key aspects informing the design response are the asymmetrical nature of nearby gable roofs, the incorporation of texture, and the hero-ing of craftsmanship as a key theme.
The resulting building façade is a combination of two gabled elements, with one predominantly asymmetrical double pitched gable sitting in front of the other. The further use of textured materials such as slate, timber, bluestone and fine mesh contribute to the response. ‘The materials are all representative of materials that were available and commonly used in the era when the heritage precinct was first established,’ says Jerry Wolveridge, director of Wolveridge Architects. ‘We explore the merging of contemporary form with traditional materials, which aims to bring a sense of warmth to our projects.’
The clients wanted the originally imagined floorplan to remain in the redesign, but the actual form of the building required restructuring. It is still technically two storeys, but Jerry explains, the character is predominantly single storey. ‘Our response considered the upper level of the home to be located within an apparent roof form, so that the dwelling can be considered a single storey building with roof,’ says Jerry.
More practical features incorporated into the house were three bedrooms, a ground floor living to include a gallery space for a grand piano, an integrated home office, plenty of storage for a van and trailer, off-street parking, and a swimming pool in the rear garden.
Despite turning out to be far more complex than initially imagined, Wolveridge along with their highly capable builder client have created a unique, contemporary home.