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Bell Street Bluestone
Project Description

This is an extension to a historically significant bluestone dwelling located in Fitzroy, to provide the owner with a co-joined but self-contained separate residence. The brief required that the north facing private open space be retained to be shared by both the dwellings and the large existing elm tree not suffers from the addition of new works.

The heritage fabric of the site borders the western boundary with a 1970’s addition on the side – the new internal program was therefore relegated to the southern boundary of the property as far away from the original dwelling as possible and wrapping around the north facing garden.

On a corner allotment within a heritage zone the new works front the secondary street whilst the general built form to the main street is regular, historically intact and grand in scale.

The additions are purposefully modest in scale and add only 31sq/m of built form to the site. This scale is respectful of the surrounding streetscape, the adjoining buildings and protects the existing elm tree.

Through a considered process the final architectural form was modelled through floor yield, protecting views and the aim to contrast. As the heritage dwelling is anchored to the north/west of the site, the subsequent additions unfold toward the south/east – the resulting form is clearly contemporary with materials expressed through angular planes.

As a further deference to the original dwelling it was decided to use only natural materials to the exterior of the additions so that over time just as the bluestone has aged and acquired its patina so too would the additions. Anthracite zinc, Ironbark shiplap and concrete render along with hardwood window frames will all take on a varied weathered look over time, and ensure that the 2 dwellings sit harmoniously despite the contrast in architectural forms.

Completed: 2016
Location: Fitzroy, Melbourne Australia


Interior: Robert Nichol & sons
Photography: Jonathan Ng