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East Melbourne Residence

interior view interior view John Gollings

Victoria Entries 2012

The restoration of a unique two storey timber verandah to a nineteenth century terrace house provided the springboard for an extension composed of interconnected and light-filled spaces, each with its own dynamic and each cloaked with a distinctive texture and materiality including a range of timbers.

The front façade was rebuilt in accordance with Joseph Reed’s original 1856 design and involved carved and jointed detailing to recreate the timber verandah including a Regency balustrade with Middle Eastern bracketed post system. Alaskan Yellow cedar was selected for its resilience to weather, disease and decay as well as for its capacity to be easily carved into the sculptured forms required. Victorian hardwood was used for the front façade window and door framing as well as the shutters, all painted to both enhance their durability and to restore the heritage appearance.

Within the residence clear finished brushbox tongue and groove flooring is used throughout to provide a warm yet lively floor plane from which to build. The same brushbox planks are used to line the bathroom walls and ceiling while solid sections of brushbox form reveals to wall openings as well as duck boarded bridges spanning the central atrium. Clear finished laminated cypress pine columns and beams soar from the ground floor of the atrium to the openable roof three stories above to demonstrably support the roof structure.

Blackheart sassafras, golden sassafras and American walnut timber veneers have been applied to joinery throughout the project to create a spectacular palette of grains and hues which enliven and characterise the spaces. The Blackheart Sassafras flitches in particular were carefully selected to compliment the element to which they were applied and to contribute to the space. Timber has made a significant contribution to many aspects of the project and has indeed become its signature.
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  • Residential Class Best Renovation
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