Glenlyon Road House

Gardiner Architects was tasked with restoring the worn-out terrace house, for clients looking beyond an investment opportunity, with the intention to create a comfortable, sustainable home that prioritized longevity in Melbourne, Australia..

  • area / size 1,560 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • Type House,
  • The Glenlyon Road House is located in Brunswick, Melbourne. The site had its challenges as its small, long and narrow with two larger neighbouring buildings on both sides. The house, in a great area of Brunswick, close to cafes, transport and parks held plenty of opportunity despite the existing building being in a very poor state.

    Due to no heritage overlay on the site, a range of possible schemes were assessed. The exploration resulted in the rear sub-standard section of the house being demolished. The front two rooms and hall that held the vernacular cottage aesthetic of the area, were deemed important to retain. Keeping the front of the house, along with being the sustainable approach, felt like a more sensitive response to the street frontage. Numerous heritage facades in the area have been lost as new developments replace the traditional style single dwellings.

    The driving force of the project was to not just add a two-storey bulk extension at the rear of the site but incorporate close views of gardens along with longer views of the neighbourhood, distant city and sky. The resulting design of the house creates a quality of light and spaciousness which was a priority identified by the clients in the initial stages of the design process and a strong contrast to the existing house.

    Due to the orientation of the site, the scheme prioritised a central courtyard that allowed northern light into the ground level living areas. A spine of services including a bathroom, stairs, storage, a laundry and a study nook run along the western boundary. Large east facing windows through to the courtyard ensure the passage through the house that connects the old and new areas is full of natural light.

    The kitchen, living and dining area open up to the courtyard to the north as well as the back garden area to the South. A high ceiling in the living space coupled with expansive glazing, enhances the sense of space due to the increased volume.

    Design: Gardiner Architects
    Photography: Rory Gardiner