This grand Edwardian home in Melbourne’s Elsternwick was at risk of ruin, until new owners purchased the property in 2013, and engaged BayleyWard to bring it back to life.
The clients requested a large family oasis with a circular flow of spaces both vertically and horizontally, but major creative decisions were left to BayleyWard.
Working closely with multiple collaborators, the architects set about restoring the original heritage home and adding a contemporary extension.
The first port of call – removing layers of paint, water damage and lean-to additions to reveal salvageable period features in the original Edwardian rooms. These rooms now contain the home’s ‘grown-up spaces’, including the study and main bedroom.
The rear extension meanwhile houses the living room, kitchen, and outdoor pergola, adopting a roof form and double-height scale inspired by the ‘forest of chimneys’ in the existing building.
A new cantilevered staircase leads to the attic turned mezzanine, which frames backyard views as you move upwards. (The home’s original stairs have also been retained, leading directly into a separate upper floor den.)
A cohesive use of black oxide steel visually link the home’s interiors, outdoor pergola and pool house together, but the material palette is otherwise varied. For example, in the kitchen, a polished concrete floor rises to form the island bench, while grain timber blocks help define the dining area. ‘In the bedrooms and study, the materiality was softer, and the wall colours could do more of the work,’ says Nick. ‘Our interiors team are not afraid of colour and layering, which I think gives each build an authenticity.’
Circular motifs in the original brickwork are also referenced in the extension to further link these spaces together, as seen in the light fittings, joinery door detail and select furniture pieces.
Nick describes the finished product as a ‘celebration of the fusion of heritage and contemporary architecture, on this great Elsternwick street.’