In many ways, the story behind this inner-city renovation by Melbourne architecture firm, Carr Design, is a common one: a young family had spent the past five years living in a dark two-storey terrace and wanted to make it lighter and more accommodating for their two young children.

Although inner-urban projects of this type usually stick to a formula, Carr's approach is far from generic. While the floorplan of the house has remained the same, the subtle detailing and robust forms reveal a well designed considered, approach.

Behind an idyllic heritage-listed facade is a spatial plan typical of the period: a formal living room and study lead off a hallway at the front, before opening up to an open plan kitchen, dining and living area typical of contemporary terrace refurbishments.

An existing light well successfully connects the old and new sections of the house, while the study offers views through to the rear garden and living spaces. A refined, semi-industrial aesthetic is referenced in the steel framed windows and projecting steel canopies, and we love that the projecting steel portals add strength and  a contemporary edge while blocking some of the harsh western sun.

For the interiors, natural timber, calacutta marble and ebonised veneer provide a beautifully subtle backdrop to the owner’s contemporary art collection.

 

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