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A Contemporary Home Inspired By Heritage Architecture

Architecture

Building a home is rarely straightforward, but this house in Melbourne’s Ascot Vale proved to be particularly challenging!

Wolveridge Architects initially designed an entirely different home for the site, but before it could be actioned, a heritage overlay was introduced to the area. With the assistance of a heritage consultant, Wolveridge revised their design, creating a home reflective of the neighbourhood’s interwar building stock.

20th January, 2020

Ascot Veil is a Wolveridge Architects home in, you guessed it, Ascot Vale! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The facade is a combination of two gabled elements, with one predominantly asymmetrical double pitched gable sitting in front of the other. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Slate, timber, bluestone are among materials used. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The home is actually the second design proposed by Wolveridge for the site, following a heritage overlay being introduced to the area. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A heritage consultant was engaged to assist in the redesign.  Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Despite its interwar influences, the home is utterly modern, Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Three bedrooms are located in the home. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Construction of this project was by McKerlie Builders. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The bathroom looks straight out of a five-star hotel! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

‘We explore the merging of contemporary form with traditional materials which aims to bring a sense of warmth to our projects,’ says Jerry Wolveridge. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

‘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 Wolveridge. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A swimming pool was also added to the backyard. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

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.  Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Amelia Barnes
Monday 20th January 2020

‘The materials are all representative of materials that were available and commonly used in the era when the heritage precinct was first established.’ – Jerry Wolveridge

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. 

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net