Architect Melanie Beynon’s Edwardian home in Prahran, Melbourne was charming but no longer fit for purpose. The family of four required additional space to ‘break away’ and a more functional floor plan.
Melanie’s challenge was to create more space on a single level without dominating the compact inner-city block. ‘The vision for our home was longevity,’ she says.
A new minimal glass hallway links the original house to the versatile living space. This new space is built with longevity in mind, featuring a robust material palette including bricks, concrete, and plywood (that even can withstand the occasional basketball bouncing off the walls).
The glass walkway extends past a new central courtyard and draws light and greenery into the interiors. ‘The glass link is a dramatic feature exposing us to the weather conditions. Lying in the sun under the skylight is dreamy,’ says Melanie.
The courtyard also works to acoustically separate the family into adult and kids zones, while retaining a visual connection between the two areas.
In the original home, the open-plan kitchen, living and dining area has been renovated to maximise functionality and storage. Materials and colours including joinery painted Dulux Natural White, white Vola tapware, and an aluminium splash back powder coated in Dulux Shoji White stand out against the original stained timber floor and a stained solid oak island bench.
When standing in the main living area, the eye is now naturally drawn to the sliding doors that extend outside to the north. Views to neighbouring properties have also been blocked out through strategically placed steel-framed windows.
The updated house still presents as an original Edwardian, but step inside and there’s a clear view to the contemporary spaces at the rear. It’s a house that delights and surprises, without affecting the existing streetscape, and providing room for the family to grow.