The Vic­to­rian her­itage fa­cade be­lies the ul­tra mod­ern rear ex­ten­sion to this home that de­liv­ers light and space in equal mea­sure.

Belle - - Sydney Home - Pho­to­graphs SEAN FEN­NESSY Words CARLI PHILIPS Styling JES­SICA LILLICO

As is char­ac­ter­is­tic of orig­i­nal Vic­to­rian ter­race houses, the cor­ri­dor of this home in Mel­bourne was dark and dim be­fore it landed in the lap of ar­chi­tect Charlie Inglis. The most ob­vi­ous and im­me­di­ate fix was a lick of white paint, but it was the cre­ation of an in­te­rior glass-en­closed court­yard at the end of the hall that proved most ef­fec­tive. At its cen­tre is a lone Ginkgo tree and ‘liv­ing fos­sil’ (its species dates back to pre­his­toric times), its fan-like leaves grow­ing slowly yet surely. Perched at the junction be­tween the ex­ist­ing house and the new ad­di­tion, the court­yard sweeps light into both the hall­way and the ex­ten­sion.

When own­ers Chris and Felic­ity Wilkins bought the house it was dated and tired. A ren­o­va­tion was al­ways on the cards but the cou­ple were com­mit­ted to liv­ing in it first to get a sense of how it would func­tion with their young fam­ily. “It was im­por­tant be­cause it al­lowed us to un­der­stand shadow lines and what ar­eas were go­ing to get sun and, ul­ti­mately, how much of the back to chop off so we didn’t jeop­ar­dise the out­door liv­ing area in terms of ex­tend­ing the build­ing too far.”

By the time work be­gan two years later, Chris and Felic­ity knew how they wanted their house to op­er­ate and had a file of clip­pings ref­er­enc­ing the look and feel. “Charlie is a mate and I had been keen to work with him for a while,” says Chris, a prop­erty de­vel­oper. “We were all on the same wave­length but he went on to de­liver be­yond our ex­pec­ta­tions. That’s the ben­e­fit of hav­ing a good ar­chi­tect. He had ideas that we cer­tainly hadn’t thought of – par­tic­u­larly around fin­ishes and ma­te­ri­als.”

A her­itage home, the front fa­cade had to be re­tained but Charlie went the ex­tra mile to en­sure that from the street there was no in­di­ca­tion as to the breadth of the ad­di­tion. The back el­e­va­tion is starkly mod­ern, the ro­bust lin­ear com­po­si­tion of bricks by Petersen Tegl of Den­mark bear­ing the hall­marks of Bru­tal­ist de­sign. “We com­monly use this con­struc­tion ma­te­rial as it’s hand­made and shows how a build­ing has lit­er­ally been crafted brick by brick. It high­lights the im­per­fec­tions and adds char­ac­ter,” says Charlie.

To soften the thick­ness of the build­ing, planter boxes were in­serted into the ‘folds’, fram­ing the views of the master bed­room and its bal­cony on the first floor. “A mir­rored stain­less steel para­pet

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