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

A Voluminous, Contemporary Home Behind A Modest Heritage Facade

Architecture

Space is something most of us could do with a little more of at home. But when you have a family of six, a business to run from home, and plans for the residence to be passed down through generations, maximising space is more important that ever.

Geelong owner-builder Matt Wilson turned to Ben Robertson from Tecture to conjure up more space in his heritage home. Negotiating multiple council overlays, a sloping block and a slightly elevated heritage house, the collaborators delivered a sprawling addition to a single-story weatherboard. All while maintaining an unassuming street frontage!

22nd May, 2020

The sprawling communal living space opens up onto the alfresco dining area. Outdoor table setting from Tait Furniture. Custom cushions from Katherine Martico. Artwork by Melanie Macilwain. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The living space holds Memphis coffee tables from Jardan. Custom drum side table made from leftover stone. Artwork by Miranda Skoczek. Atlas rug from Armadillo. Custom banquet seating designed and installed by Banksia Lounges. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Natural light from the internal void prevents the hybrid kitchen and dining space from feeling cavernous. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The art-filled eating zone is the central hub of the house! Custom dining table by Joel Elliott Furniture. Bay chair from Jardan. Painting by Jasmine Mansbridge. Totem sculptures by Marta Figueiredo. Buch Stool from Great Dane Furniture.

Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The interplay between light and shadow, high and low is a key feature of this undulating building! Buch stool from Great Dane Furniture. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Playing with levels and light from private to communal quarters. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Clean, crisp finishes complement the curves of scalloped glass and rounded mirrors. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

A peek into the master bathroom. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Cascades of scalloped glass mask twin shower heads by Brodware. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Custom built bunk beds display the client’s building expertise. Jardan bed linen. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Vivian’s bedroom. Kip + Co. rug. Custom bedhead by Made By Storey. Drop 50 light by Paris Au Mois Daout via Hub Furniture. Ro armchair by Fritz Hansen from Living Edge. Artwork by Jessie Breakwell.

Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Master bedroom. Artwork by Anne-Sophie Tschiegg via Greenhouse Interiors. Lincoln bedhead from Heatherly Design. Carravagio wall light from Cult Design. Bedlinen from Jardan. Assorted cushions from Adairs. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The kids’ rumpus room. Milo modular sofa and Alby ottoman from Jardan. Olba timber coffee table from Jardan. JVI Blinds curtains. Artwork by Jessie Breakwell. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The kids’ rumpus room. Milo modular sofa and Alby ottoman from Jardan. Olba timber coffee table from Jardan. JVI Blinds curtains. Artwork by Jessie Breakwell. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Fibre chair from Living Edge. Lamp De Marseille by Nemo Lighting from Cult Design. Larger artwork Ellie Malin, smaller artwork by Castle and Things. Custom stone drum sidetable with leftover stone. Indi side table from Jardan. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The Trace outdoor settee from Tait Furniture. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The Trace outdoor settee from Tait Furniture. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Looking back onto the house. The Trace outdoor settee from Tait Furniture. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The view from the bottom of the garden! Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The full extension looks out onto the pool and sits beside a lawn. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Glazing on the side of the extension afford views onto the greenery and lets in natural light! Photo – Shannon McGrath.

The original weatherboard facade has a heritage overlay, and is coated Dulux Surfmist. Photo – Shannon McGrath.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 22nd May 2020

‘As soon as you open the front door and see through the upper-level glass to the sky and through the house to the backyard grass, you become enamoured with the scale.’ – Ben Robertson, Director of Tecture.

At first glance, the front of this weatherboard house in Geelong is ‘rather unassuming’, muses director of Tecture, Ben Robertson. ‘But as soon as you open the front door and see through upper-level glass to the sky and through the house to the backyard, you become enamoured with the scale’ he says.

For a family of six with a business to run from home, Tecture were tasked with the mission of creating a multi-dimensional space that could grow with them, and be passed down to the next generation. Additionally, the owners have a large extended family, and it was important to create a home that was proportionally flexible to allow for the whole gang to gather both inside and outside, without disconnecting from each other.

‘When we design projects, we look at the original home for inspiration’, explains Ben. The goal was to design a house that ‘sat gracefully behind the heritage dwelling, and sympathetic in its form when looking at it from the street.’

The new dwelling behind the original facade is significantly different, mostly in scale and volume. Given the large scale of the block (and the needs of this big family!) the challenge for the architects was to design the extension with alternating internal volumes and scales to avoid any hollowness creeping into the space. Internal voids funnel natural light into the large communal areas, while the varying levels of the house were designed to lean into the undulations of the sloping block.

Different heights and elevations separate the sleeping quarters from the living zones, and by wrapping the communal spaces around the garden, pool and alfresco dining area, the architects were able to create a panoramic connection to the back half of the block from the central hub. Large, scalloped glass shower screens feature in the bathroom, while a pair of custom-built bunk beds (double beds on the bottom, single beds on the top!) can cater to a variety of different needs.

This elegant home is sure to endure for many generations to come!

The owners of this project are Built By Wilson, local builders in the Geelong area. You can learn more about them here. Take a look at other Tecture projects here.

This Week

Architecture

A Home Purpose Built For A Woman And Her Cat!

A heritage cottage in Fitzroy North carefully restored and renovated by Atlas Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

The Painted Papier-Mâché World Of Morgana Celeste

The multi-disciplined creative and emerging artist shares her process ahead of her first solo exhibition, online now at pépite.
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

Garden Life update a tired inner-Sydney courtyard with a textured, elegant design that begs for a sunny afternoon Spritz!

Times Like These

Times Like These...With Musician And Writer Clare Bowditch

The award winning musician and author shares her thoughtful outlook on the future of art and creativity after COVID-19.

Homes

A Warm And Wonderful 1950s Home In North Warrandyte

Vy and Andrew Costen share their charming mid century family home, in near original condition!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Curvy, Unexpected Renovation For A Heritage Home

Bryant Alsop Architects introduce light, space and surprising features to this suburban Melbourne home.

Architecture

A Luxury Beach House Atop The Sand Dunes In Blairgowrie

There is poetry in the way this contemporary coastal sanctuary by Planned Living Architects speaks to its blustery surrounds with rare views...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The Best New Architecture Projects In Victoria Revealed!

The 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards shortlist has been announced, including these standout residential projects.

This Week

News

Shop The Megan Park Archive Of More Than 10,000 Pieces!

Legendary fashion designer Megan Park has kept one of every piece she has designed over the last 22 years – and now, she’s opening h...

Architecture

This Clever + Compact Bondi Home Feels Like A Never-Ending Holiday!

Fox Johnston architects managed to expand the footprint of this small and narrow Sydney site to create a generous, private haven!

Interiors

An Inspired Cosmetic Makeover Of A Perth Rental Property

This Cottesloe rental property has been majorly improved (with the landlord's agreement) by Ohlo Studio!

News

The Magic And Art Of Beekeeping With Honey Fingers

Mud Australia is hosting an exhibition and in conversation event with legendary urban beekeepers Honey Fingers, moderated by artist Stanisla...
Sally Tabart

Stays

The Fabulous New Store And Apartment From Colour Queen Chela Edmunds!

The Takeawei Ceramics founder shows us around her sunny new store in Fitzroy, and the cutest-ever apartment upstairs (yep, you can stay ther...

Homes

A Magical Alistair Knox-Designed Rental In Eltham!

The seriously dreamy 1970s rental home of Pop and Scott trade manager Lucienne Van Sebille, and her partner Sebastian.

Gardens

A Cultivated Wilderness In Inner Suburban Melbourne

Legendary landscape designer Phillip Withers completes a layered, three-tiered garden around a Toorak home designed by Cera Stribley.

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

On The Market

This John Lautner-Inspired Sydney Home Is MAJOR House Goals (+ It’s For Sale)!

This dream house in Sydney's Castle Cove designed by Terroir architects and Pascale Gomes-McNabb is for sale!

Architecture

A Timeless New Home In Ballarat, With Lake Views + Mid-Century Vibes

With American ‘Brady Bunch’ house vibes (!) this new home in Ballarat by Kennedy Nolan channels mid century design, with a sleek, contem...

News

Extend The Lifecycle Of Designer Furniture And Lighting With Cultivated

Cult relaunches Cultivated during Melbourne Design Week – a buy-back, refurbishment and recycling service that aims to create a sustainabl...
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Gardens

A Slice Of Primeval Paradise In Bronte

Situated on a steep site in a sometimes blustery coastal location, the planting palette for this stunning garden in Sydney is both soft, and...

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Curvy, Unexpected Renovation For A Heritage Home

Bryant Alsop Architects introduce surprising features to this suburban Melbourne home.

Architecture

A Luxury Beach House Atop The Sand Dunes In Blairgowrie

There is poetry in the way this contemporary coastal sanctuary by Planned Living Architects speaks to its blustery surrounds with rare views...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The Best New Architecture Projects In Victoria Revealed!

The 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards shortlist has been announced, including these standout residential projects.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.