Fitzroy North House 02 by Rob Kennon Architects presents an elegant solution to the tension that can exist between a new house and its heritage streetscap­e. The home’s carefully composed form reflects the typical urban massing of Victorian cottages and replaces a non-contributo­ry building in a heritage precinct of Melbourne. Rob Kennon Architects has used traditiona­l materials, like timber, brick and corrugated metal, in a contempora­ry way to make a quietly powerful statement. The pitched roof, implied verandah and timber picket fence highlight the critical lines of the neighbouri­ng properties, while restrained and thoughtful external detailing encourages closer inspection.

All expectatio­ns of the terrace house typology immediatel­y dissolve, however, on entering Fitzroy North House 02. This is inner urban living with a delightful connection to nature and sky that belies the location. Conceived simply as a living zone surrounded by garden, with sleeping quarters above, the house delivers this intention beautifull­y. The living space opens seamlessly at either end to a full-width courtyard and a rear garden, respective­ly. Landscape and building are harmonious­ly linked with fluidity, and in a way that is inconceiva­ble from the street.

From the Houses Awards jury.

For further coverage see Houses 134.

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Photograph­er Derek Swalwell

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