Malvern House

Nestled towards the back of the block, this two storey addition to a weatherboard Edwardian home in Melbourne was planned around an existing underground wine cellar. Designed for family life, a practical design was sought to embrace the energy of 3 young boys, whilst ensuring enough flexibility for the changing needs of the family.

The brief was to create a long-term family home that encourages congregation and connectedness within the home. The parents did not want to feel too separated from their kids, nor did they want the main living space to feel like it was off limits for the family. The brief also called for high ceilings, an abundance of natural light and an open stair leading to the ultimate parent retreat on the first floor.

Working with a heritage overlay, the addition needed to be set as far back from the street as possible, to allow the existing pitched slate roof to read as a whole.

The internal footprint also needed to include the existing underground wine cellar, which was not in the most convenient of locations, but would be a wasted opportunity not to re-use.

The extra wide living space picks up the entrance to the cellar (under the couch), and provided an opportunity for a large north facing window seat to be centred on the pool.

With glazed sliding doors that recess into the brick piers when open, the house can effectively merge with the outdoors in summer, whilst in winter, the family can sit by the fire, or enjoy the warmth of the sun coming through the double glazed window.

By pushing the first floor towards the back of the block, the existing roof space was able to be used as a study and store area, creating a quiet space to work from home.

Photography by Shannon McGrath

Architecture & Design by Eliza Blair Architecture

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