Alterations & Additions | Highbury Grove Residence by Ritz & Ghougassian

The Look

The work of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki is a far cry from Highbury Grove; a street of neat, carbon copy federation-style cottages in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran. But for this semi-detached Victorian-era home, it was time to go against the grain of its neighbours. Inspired by the Japanese architect’s thinking and informed by a tonne of concrete bricks, Ritz & Ghougassian have given this home a fresh architectural legacy.

Melbourne-based practice Ritz & Ghougassian see their architecture as the expression of a shell that becomes the basis for habitation and shelter. In this instance, the shell had to be extra careful of the existing home’s heritage facade and deal with the public laneway on the northern side of the property. Their response was orientating an extension to the north, that allows privacy from the laneway. The new structure is based around a set of walls that run the length of the site, and a second set that align themselves to the northern aspect. Together, the brick walls overlap and enclose the space within.