DOUBLE FRONTED VICTORIAN
The house is located in the Inner West but it has the usability and comfort of a larger house that you might find on the North Shore while keeping its cool Inner West street-credit.
Ben and Sophie came to us with a double fronted Victorian brick house that, as usual, was gracious at the front and dysfunctional at the back. Their brief was to create a functional and contemporary layout at the back and to connect to the garden while respecting and enhancing the heritage value of the house as a whole. The result is a beautiful, holistically considered house that now has the space to breathe and bring up a family of 4 plus pooch. The house is located in the Inner West but it has the usability and comfort of a larger house that you might find on the on the North Shore while keeping its cool Inner West street-credit. The generous-sized kitchen with separate, tucked away laundry and pantry connects to an oversized and covered verandah with a relaxed, country feel. Upstairs is a secluded, cosy master bedroom suite with a walk in robe and ensuite meticulously carved into the sloped roof space.
The great thing about a double fronted house is that the roof is large enough to fit a bedroom wing without having to build up to add an obvious extra level. We spent a lot of time designing the stairs that connect the ground floor to upper bedroom level in relation to the slope. In the end we took advantage of the meter drop in land from front to back to allow both the top and lower level to split and then managed to tuck the stair and master bedroom at this junction point, above the pantry and laundry like a wooden puzzle.
We kept the existing heritage living room while making an opening with an architrave frame to the lower dining room, instead of removing the wall completely. We then used the broad zigzagging stairs as a design tool to link the two spaces on two levels while still defining them as being separate. The kitchen in the same way is defined as a space in its own right while connecting to the dining room. In this way we reinforced the spatial compartments that 19th century buildings have while still providing a functionally, modern lifestyle. The lush backyard is still an important feature of the property and the open carport doubles as a shaded play area at kids parties.
Cost was managed by the use of timber frames and weatherboard wall cladding and a traditionally framed timber floor. Therefore we avoided the use of reinforced concrete which has both cost and environmental benefits.
The palette is an elegant mix of grey blues, whites, Carrara marble and blonde hardwood timber, which creates a calm and chic open plan. The front of the house was lovingly restored with an injection of colour and the reinstatement of old English tessellated veranda tiles. We designed and built a new traditional, wrought-iron, hand painted front fence that appears to be the original. This was the approach of the entire renovation. As a whole It feels calm, timeless and meant to be. Thanks Ben and Sophie for being wonderful clients.
Existing House Type:
Double Fronted Brick Free-Standing Victorian
0419 995 384
Floor Area: 290m2