Living close to the city certainly has its advantages - good public transport, the buzz of the inner-city and easy access to all the coolest bars and restaurants. The downside - especially in older terrace houses - is the cramped and dark living conditions. High House is in Melbourne’s trendy North Fitzroy, so it certainly has all those inner-city advantages. Now, thanks to a double-storey, gabled extension by Dan Gayfer Design, light, functionality and space has also been dialled up to high. It’s hard to see a drawback…
Only two rooms of the original terrace remain - a response to heritage controls which require the front rooms to remain intact. These rooms have been converted into bedrooms by Dan Gayfer Design to allow for a modern and bright living area to open onto the backyard.
The new living areas are pulled slightly away from the front two bedrooms, fitting a bathroom and light well in between the two zones. The bathroom therefore serves double duty as a powder room for the living areas as well as shared bathroom for the downstairs bedrooms. Thanks the the light-well, the bathroom, tiled in serene light blue, is unusually bright and well-ventilated.
In spite of its narrow, 5 metre-wide site, the home features skylights, a light-well and a large steel-framed sliding glass doors which open to connect the living area to the backyard. This ensures the home maximises light and breezes, making it much more conformable and enjoyable to live in than most terraces.
From the rear, High House offers a striking counterpoint to the ornate Victorian-era frontage. Clad in pale blue tiles, the facade has a sense of ornamentation, but with a minimalist aesthetic.
Elements of pastel tiles, timber details and ornamental details continue what the Victorians started throughout the home, but with a decidedly modern interpretation. The concrete bench top in the kitchen, for example, features a modern, oversized corbel design to support the breakfast bar, a reference to the home’s Victorian heritage.
Upstairs, there’s a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, study and private balcony - essentially a private parents retreat for the adults of the young family.
The design makes a priority of built in outdoor seating, understanding that this is the best way to make the most of narrow spaces and encourage people to move naturally outdoors. The built in seating creates the perfect spaces for eat and entertain outdoors.
At High House, overcoming the downside of inner-city living is the highest priority. High House by name and thanks to high ceilings, a high roofline, and a high level of natural light? High House by nature.