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Kooyong Residence, Armadale, Melbourne, Australia

Monday 09 Jan 2012

Bridging the gap

photographer Shannon McGrath 
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Award Entry

A marriage of a historic Victorian Villa with a modern addition forming a bridge between old and new 

The Kooyong Residence was a renovation and restoration of a grand Victorian dwelling badly in need of repair. Upon persuasive encouragement the client agreed to retain the front elements of the historical building. Following the removal of a previous addition, the extensive brief requested an upper level addition, a garage & pool with greater interaction with the exterior.

The team's choice (given the depth of the site) was to separate rather than attach the new works to the rear of the existing building availing textured areas of external space between old & new ‘pavilions'. Two levels of sculpted ‘L' shaped floor area are stacked over each other at the rear utilising the limits of the site. The soft & sinuous use of timber cladding extend the low embodied energy theme and assist in enhancing a sculptural and organic point of difference to the rigidity and masculinity of the historical masonry building.

Central and side courtyards provide important breezeways & powerful interstitial transition points within the site. A glazed covered way extending off the original hallway connects the buildings providing a metaphorical ‘bridge' and a thermal regulator with flexibility to open completely to the elements. This hallway continues as a main axis through new and old setting up a series of framed scenes and journey of discovery.

At the rear, 70 solid blackbutt fins functionally address overlooking and solar emission concerns as they disperse gradually from east to north breaking down a seemingly solid façade at one end to be completely permeable at the other.

As opposed to other dwellings within this Melbourne suburban context where important references of Australian /Victorian heritage may be obliterated without invention this project utilises and exploits the juxtaposition to heighten and delight in the difference whilst following sustainable methods that encourage retention and re-use over demolition.

Key Facts

Status completed
Value 0(m€)
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Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

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