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Welcome home to Denmark: Melbourne’s Central Park Road residence

Georgina Johnston
27 Jan 2020

Melbourne-based Studiofour architects design an Australian house into a Danish home

Studiofour focused to return the house to its essence of form and to create a home full of atmosphere and individuality. The brief was to create an authentic home with a strong sense of identity and, with the clients possessing a Danish heritage, a house that at its core was the definition of “Hygge”, a unique Danish word evoking comfort and contentment.

In the client’s eyes, the value of this renovation lies not just within the function and the shelter it provides, but also that Studiofour have demonstrated the ability to repurpose an existing home and conserve the heart of the forgotten. 

On arrival, the entry is defined by an oversized eave emphasising the horizontality of the façade, strengthening the cohesiveness of the existing architectural form.  It has been punctured to allow substantial soft landscaping adjacent to the entrance, as well as providing an increase in light to the interior of the heart of the home,without compromising on privacy. 

The horizontality of the architectural form was further strengthened by filling in vertical joints in brickwork and raking existing horizontal joint lines. The language of the exterior brickwork is carried inside, to form and define volumes. These walls are unadorned and honest; the interiors celebrate the beauty of imperfection; there are no embellishments, no overworked decoration.

A key challenge was to balance the clients' desire to live in an open plan house that ensured a high level of interaction and communication but without the noise and distraction that a single large space can sometimes result in. In contrast to the modest and simple façade, on entering, spaces unfold and are layered upon each other. 

Solid brick exterior walls carry inside to frame the heart of the home, the kitchen, and create interior portal openings which connect adjacent spaces. The layering of these spaces was further strengthened by adding plate glass walls that intersected the solid walls. Whilst spaces were isolated acoustically, a controlled visual connection was promoted. 

Further connections are made between the adjacent garden and the space around the house, providing a layering of landscape and surrounding built form. The home is light filled with fresh air and aspect, yet there is an inner truth and stillness to the spaces that produces calmness and a certain mindfulness.

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