A Social House


This renovation was about rejuvenating a tired period house to better accommodate an inner urban, very Melbourne lifestyle.

The house is just for two people, but for lots of visitors and entertaining with friends. The couple have lived in this house for many years and the objective was to upgrade the old house, but also upgrade the facilities of the house whilst maintaining the eclectic quality that characterizes these people, the house and the area. New kitchen, dining and living areas were added that relate at a range of levels to the outside. New service areas were added, but they were not viewed just as bathrooms and laundries, but rather as another place to identify with richness and individuality.

The corner site, located in a former industrial part of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, provided ample opportunity for passive design principles thanks to its northern orientation. Coupled with the unique cruciform roof of the existing house, it is these characteristics that give rise to the overall built form of the extension. Additionally, the planning purposely creates interlinking, individual spaces, as opposed to large open plan areas.

This renovation provided a sustainable outcome, with passive sun control, good insulation and recycled materials. It is primarily a house for living in, either large groups mingling inside and outside, or for finding a quiet nook to read the newspaper on a sunny morning.

It has been intensely planned with very little waste space. A lot happens in a relatively small footprint which makes environmental sense and is also great value.

  • Location:
    Northcote, Melbourne, Australia
  • Builder:
    Adma Group
  • Structural Engineer:
    Brock Consulting
  • Photographer:
    Rory Gardiner

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