A brief that might have disheartened some architects inspires a humble renovation that dramatically improves 'dog's breakfast' house. Jean-Paul Rollo Architects' renovation to a house in the Fitzroy North completely transforms the interior…
This latest transformation is the third life for the house. The original home was a 100 year old Victorian cottage. In the 1970s, the then owner turned the home into a brick veneer, built by the owner himself. Now, thanks to Jean-Paul Rollo Architects and a humble client brief, it has become a contemporary house with a light filled interior for a young couple and their three children. The clients had a simple brief — improve their home by using the spaces they already had more effectively and make the home more light by regaining sunlight the house had turned its back on.
Reorienting the Home
The service spaces previously located on the north have been relocated to the south side of the house to allow for north-facing living. The eastern aspect, meanwhile, has been reconfigured with large glazed timber sliding doors to connect the internal and external spaces.
An existing tandem garage has been divided to create a self-contained studio overlooking the backyard.
An Exercise in Modernising
The footprint of the home was kept about the same, while the brickwork and was bagged and painted white to modernise it. A mismatch of windows and doors were replaced with matching timber framed openings. The tiled roof was also re-clad in corrugated iron.
The project takes inspiration from its former owner, an Italian immigrant with terrazzo floors concrete benchtops. The material palette includes a custom-fabricated 8mm folded steel-plate blackened, waxed stair-case; terrazzo-tiled floor; concrete bench tops; and bespoke handles and coat hooks crafted by a local steel fabricator and hand-finished by the architect.