South Melbourne House
Sitting amongst some of Melbourne’s most beautifully preserved Victorian houses, South Melbourne House transforms a traditional terrace with a discreet, concrete addition. Double-height volumes and expansive skylights bely the home’s compact proportions, while the pursuit of modern Italian design’s rich and varied expression is met with playful pairings of raw and luxurious materials, crafting a vibrant family home of unexpected scale and drama.
The in-situ concrete architecture contains open plan living areas overlooking a rear courtyard garden. Exposed concrete walls and ceilings create a feeling of weighty permanence, juxtaposed by fine window suites that capture views to the landscape beyond. A dark concrete floor slab, hand-seeded with white aggregate, contrasts the old home with depth and tactility, while a sculpted island bench of intersecting marble and terrazzo planes fuses seamlessly with the robust building envelope, obscuring distinctions between inside and out.
The strength of these gestures is tempered by more delicate moments in the home’s fine steel balustrades, timber wall cladding, raw zinc accents, and stepped concrete ceilings. Subdued finishes are maintained in the original home, which contains a dedicated kids’ zone, and upstairs, where a main bedroom, study and bathroom affords separation between family members. Bursts of coloured tiling, iconic furniture pieces and the clients’ eclectic art collection capture the energetic spirit of the family, instilling a sense of vitality and warmth.