Home Tour | Mansard House by Studio Bright

A distinctive 1970s Melbourne residence undergoes a sympathetic renovation to nurture its inherent strengths and ensure its contribution to a richly textured city that values its past.

Tucked away amongst a treed and grassy landscape in inner-city Melbourne, Mansard House by Studio Bright mediates a balance between eras, paying homage to its original 1970s DNA while embracing a contemporary design language. Beginning with the desire to meet their client’s intention of aging at home by having it embrace extended family, the studio set about untangling the order of rooms through the extensive internal remodelling of the original home, mainly through northern living spaces.

“In the original floor plan, there was an office, lounge and kitchen stacked along the northern part of the house with walls separating the spaces which severed the connection between the rooms and the views to the landscape beyond,” Studio Bright founding director Mel Bright says. “We completely removed one of these walls, partly removed another, and we moved our client’s study deeper into the plan so that the sun-filled northern rooms could be utilised for the kitchen, living, dining and lounge.”

Diiva Swivel Stool
Artemide Dioscuri Wall/Ceiling Lamp

The kitchen features Franke tapware, a Miele dishwasher and integrated fridge, Grazia & Co Diiva Swivel stools and an Artemide Dioscuri wall lamp.

The bluestone flooring was reminiscent of the existing slate tiles that were in parts of the original house, while Victorian Ash boards were used for the ceiling. “We liked the warmth that the natural Victorian Ash brought into the house and that it worked well with the brown bricks,” Mel adds.

Externally, wall alignments and their relationship to the home’s mansard line remain unchanged. However, the precipitous drop that ‘severs’ the house from the garden is counteracted by the addition of a roof terrace and bridging open decks to the north and east, setting up a new, longer and finer horizontality that transforms the proportioning system of the facade. Edged with concertina folded bands of steel sheet handrail, the once-heavy hat of the mansard gains elegance and a floating quality that redefines the way the mass sits in the landscape.

The home celebrates its context with a richly-coloured and texturally intense interior finishes palette that is an interpretation of the original 70s interior. Materials used were selected for their raw and inherent beauty. 

Windows and doors were replaced throughout using a combination of timber and fine steel-framed windows to not only provide double glazing to improve thermal performance but also minimise the frames to improve visibility out into the landscape—particularly the northern aspect. 

The home celebrates its context with a richly-coloured palette and texturally intense interior finishes that are an interpretation of the original 70s interior. “We selected the metallic gold paint for the windows and doors throughout as the colour worked well with the brick, and we loved how it shimmers in the sunlight,” Mel says. “We also wanted to use raw and natural materials where possible.”

Miyazaki Kai #42 Chair Walnut

The dining area features the Miyazaki Kai 42 chairs in walnut.

The bluestone flooring reflects the existing slate tiles that were in parts of the original house, while the Victorian Ash boards used for the ceiling envelop the space in warmth. 

The dialogue between old and new plays out seamlessly in Mansard House, resulting in a transformative dwelling that remembers its past yet embraces its occupants’ future. “Our clients loved the existing house and were keen to see it given a new life whilst also providing the improved amenity that they were seeking with the renovation project.” 

Agent 86 Sofa

The living area features the Grazia&Co Agent 86 sofa. 

Artemide Dioscuri Wall/Ceiling Lamp

The Artemide Dioscuri wall lamps mirror the circular skylight above the staircase.

Reeno Bench

The Grazia&Co Reeno bench in the entry area.

Muuto Fiber Armchair – Swivel Base

The Muuto Fiber swivel armchair in the home office. 

Tongue & Groove Hekke
Brodware Yokato Wall Set

The bathroom features Brodware tapware, including the Yokato wall set.

The use of fine steel framed windows meld the home into its surrounding landscape. 

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