About the project
2013 GOHBA Housing Design Winner!
Melrose takes its inspiration from stately century homes on Melrose Avenue near the Civic Hospital which form its immediate context. Its architecture is a contemporary response to their traditional forms and vernacular elements. These features, such as prominent entryways, formal exterior stairs, large porches, framed windows and chimneys are re-interpreted in modern forms. The resulting building is thus relevant to the present but at the same time suited to and respectful of its surroundings. It engages the streetscape with a cast concrete ‘tiled’ forecourt which also helps to camouflage the existence of a driveway. The forecourt is framed by an armour stone retaining wall and leads to a grand double stair which culminates in a large covered patio. The double storey entryway is fully glazed and constructed of wood timbers. It provides a dramatic gesture to the street and is capped by a cedar slat solar shade. The garage has been moved to the rear of the home to allow for a street facing family room accented by a large window with timber frame. The building also incorporates other elements prominent on the street such as a chimney and limestone and stucco cladding.
The attention to detail and architectural innovation exemplified on the exterior caries through to the inside. The double storey timber columned entry hall has its light filtered by the exterior solar shade; to the side is the family room with custom fireplace and views to the street. Beyond is a modern kitchen featuring surfaces accented with LED strip and pin lights, a custom extractor hood with lit reveal and a pantry wall with a ‘secret’ window that opens to the main staircase beyond. A suspended MDF ‘cloud’ ceiling with LED lighting helps delineate the dining room in the open concept layout and a custom fireplace with polished concrete hearth melds seamlessly into the windows that frame the view to the backyard. The custom stair case takes you to a balcony over the double height entry hall and views to the street. On the opposite side of the home is the master bedroom featuring a glass wall that opens on to the ensuite. A freestanding tub sits on a pedestaled and curtained niche beyond, dramatically opening both rooms to one another. Interior features mix with exterior architectural details to create drama, presence and modern fit in a traditional context.