East Melbourne House

An overlay of contemporary renovations combined with the historic layers of this inner urban house East Melbourne / Australia / 2013

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This project is the story of a historic house regaining its dignity and liveliness in the context of the 21st century, informed by its current owners' passion for design, preservation of history, and the artworld. Now three separate dwellings, this Heritage house ‘Queen Bess Row’ has witnessed varied past uses. With great care, the new works introduce a layering of other stories, embracing the honesty of a modern approach to interventions, while avoiding nostalgia or imitation. The alterations were based around responsiveness to the cues and narrative of the existing building. This led to an exploration of memory and marking; of contrast and adaptability between the existing and new elements; of its rich history and translation of this into the present. With thoughtfulness befitting the building’s uniqueness, the old house was resuscitated through a filter of carefully considered design and detailing. The alterations of the house needed to bridge between it's 1886 heritage and the contemporary world, while also reflecting the Client’s belief that the environment we inhabit shapes our lives. This approach to conservation and curation includes the heritage building within the collection of art objects it houses, to be preserved and safeguarded in a living context.

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    This project is the story of a historic house regaining its dignity and liveliness in the context of the 21st century, informed by its current owners' passion for design, preservation of history, and the artworld. Now three separate dwellings, this Heritage house ‘Queen Bess Row’ has witnessed varied past uses. With great care, the new works introduce a layering of other stories, embracing the honesty of a modern approach to interventions, while avoiding nostalgia or imitation. The...

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