A Curvy, Late Modernist Home in Malvern Gets A Sharp Contemporary Extension

It is a truth universally acknowledged (we hope!) that if you are in possession of a modernist home, but need a renovation to accommodate your family of four, you need some really good architects.

For this home in Melbourne’s east, with an original curved roofline and curved glass wall, Architecture Architecture were up to the job of retaining the best of this home’s modernist features, whilst bringing it into the modern day.

Sasha Gattermayr

Front view of the home. The freestanding house receives light and garden views all day! Photo – Tom Ross.

The rear of the home also has street frontage, and featured jagged isosceles triangles, complementing the distinctive geometry of the original modernist design. Photo – Tom Ross.

The curved timber roof is one of the main features of the house. Photo – Tom Ross.

The kitchen, dining and living space has been designed to celebrate the original ceiling and curved glass wall. Photo – Tom Ross.

A wall partitions the kitchen from the living room. Photo – Tom Ross.

A view into the re-designed rear layout. Photo – Tom Ross.

Kitchen. Photo – Tom Ross.

A simple material palette was utilised, allowing the distinctive architectural lines to take centre stage. Photo – Tom Ross.

Contrasting colours and materials. Photo – Tom Ross.

Sloping diagonal lines and semi translucent cladding allow light into the first storey of the extension. Photo – Tom Ross.

Contemporary geometry references the modernist geometry of the original house. Photo – Tom Ross.

A warm and colourful bathroom! Photo – Tom Ross.

A semi translucent cladding material was used to maximise light in the upstairs bathrooms. Photo – Tom Ross

The rear-facing street view. Photo – Tom Ross.

The original curved glass wall. Photo – Tom Ross.

Sasha Gattermayr
21st of April 2020

This late modernist Malvern home featured a curved timber roof and a glorious wall of curved glass, bending around the rear living area. Architecture Architecture came in with a mission not only to retain these features, but to celebrate them.

The brief was to extend the home – sensitively. It was of utmost importance that the extension didn’t compromise the curve of the original roofline. ‘We’ve elevated the extension over the original house, creating a space between the two volumes,’ explains architect, Nick James. ‘It’s architectural social distancing.’

While the internal room sequence has been retained, the internal spaces have been gutted and opened up to reveal more of the glass curved wall, and the domed roof has been buttressed with timber supports to emphasise its eye-catching waves. ‘Clearing and simplifying the internal layout has brought this feature back to life, while enhancing the connections between the living areas and the outdoors,’ Nick says. Diagonal slopes in the extension contrast with the curvature of the modernist silhouette, demarcating the original design from it contemporary addition.

And don’t we love a colourful bathroom?! Blush pink tiles and warm wood joinery provide a soothing contrast to the slick monochrome interiors of the generous kitchen and living space, which has been pared back to highlight the sweeping curved lines of the original glazing and ceiling.

As the house faces the street at both the front and the rear of the property, Architecture Architecture took the opportunity to change street-face where previously no rear facade had been visible. Jagged isosceles glazing blends into the treetops, allowing the ingenuity of this contemporary design to have its moment in the sun.

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