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

When Two Homes Become One

Architecture

The word ‘unique’ is regularly bandied about in the art and design worlds, but in the case of Austin Maynard Architects’ projects, this term always applies.

In their latest project, RaeRae House in North Fitzroy, the practice have turned two classic single-fronted Victorian terraces into a cohesive five-bedroom house with an innovative mountain-like roof. While unconventional in appearance, this is a highly functional and practical house, with exciting moments of discovery throughout.

20th March, 2020

The unique roofline of RaeRae by Austin Maynard Architects. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

This projects saw two single-fronted Victorian terraces become one. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The extension activates the laneway behind the house. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The L-shaped extension wraps around a central garden. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

A family with three children live in this North Fitzroy home. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The living portion of the new extension. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The house has both an indoor and outdoor fireplace. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

There’s always plenty of playful elements in an Austin Maynard project! Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Clean, contemporary living room interiors. Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

A wonderful display shelf subtly divides the living domain. Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

The kitchen bench hovers above the floor with cables and wires hidden underneath. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The kitchen contains a hidden pantry, appliance storage shelves and food preparation area. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The two-storey kids-zone has three bedrooms,  a rumpus room, and  bathroom accessed via a spiral staircase. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The colour-filled rumpus. Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

The rumpus and craft rooms hide a multitude of secrets: pin-boards, blackboards, sliding doors, recharging zones, cubby holes and toy storage. Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

The perforated steel landing connects the bedrooms and bridges a double height void. Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

A beautifully appointed bathroom. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The bright coloured carpet in the bedrooms was chosen by each child! Photo – Stephanie Rooney.

The rumpus room opens out to the garden and is future-proofed to become self-contained with its own direct street access Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The sunny garden gets minimal shadow, ideal for Melbourne’s climate. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

The outdoor entertaining area. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

RaeRae house is Austin Maynard Architects’ attempt at creating a rational house filled with secrets and discovery. Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Amelia Barnes
Friday 20th March 2020

‘Initially it looks to be a fanciful design – an architectural mountain range – but at its core the house is responsive and strategic.’ – Mark Austin

Highly functional and rational homes run the risk of looking a little banal, but not when Austin Maynard Architects are involved. In their ‘RaeRae House’, the practice set out to challenge this perception, creating a practical home that remains full of creative flourishes, and unexpected details. 

The clients initially planned to renovate and extend their single-fronted Fitzroy North terrace, but when the house next door came up for sale, they decided to purchase it and combine the two. This second house was incredibly rundown and needed demolishing, but because of a heritage overlay, the street frontage was retained. 

Austin Maynard Architects created a glazed walkway between the heritage buildings, to unite the two houses and serve as the front door. Rather than simply extending both buildings backwards in a linear form, the addition was devised along the southern boundary with separate zones for living, parents, and the three children. ‘Living spaces face the sunny northern garden, while storage and services are to the south. Reorienting the home along the southern boundary maximises passive solar gain and ensures a sunny garden with minimal shadow, ideal for Melbourne’s climate,’ says Austin Maynard Architects director, Andrew Maynard.

The most distinct element of this project is the new zig zag roof that rises at seemingly random intervals. This roof form is in fact highly contextual, with every rise and fall carefully considered to minimise overshadowing and visual bulk. This roofline is most visible from the rear laneway, where the house deliberately engages with the street via direct access, large openings and windows.

The roofline and varied facades give the impression of this project being many individual buildings, but it’s actually the one cohesive space. Both the existing terrace houses have been transformed, with one now a self-contained guest suite with a separate entrance, and the other a home office and garden shed. 

While this house initially appears almost whimsical with its mountain-scape profile, director of Austin Maynard Architects, Mark Austin, explains that ‘logic, reason and rationality’ are the cornerstones of its design. He says, ‘Initially it looks to be a fanciful design – an architectural mountain range – but at its core the house is responsive and strategic.’

This Week

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras
  21 hours ago

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  18 hours ago

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This Circular Beach House Will Put You In A Spin

360-degree views from the brilliantly unconventional St Andrews Beach House, by Austin Maynard Architects.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Playful + Reorienting Renovation

Austin Maynard Architects joyfully reconfigure the Grant House in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

This Week

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras
  21 hours ago

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  18 hours ago

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This Circular Beach House Will Put You In A Spin

360-degree views from the St Andrews Beach House, with Austin Maynard Architects.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Playful + Reorienting Renovation

Austin Maynard Architects joyfully reconfigure the Grant House in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

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