Melbourne Style Extension

Melbourne Style Extension

Contemporary extension to the rear of an
Historic Newtown Area turn of the century cottage.

We have been enjoying partnering with Jeff Clark from Refresh Renovations since late 2018. When Jeff contacted me to say we’ve got a potential for a very cool extension project in Historic Newtown Area, I did not hesitate!

I had recently been exploring the old suburbs of South Melbourne whilst on holiday. There you’ll discover clever architectural gems nestled in the backyards of long narrow lots.  With strong controls on the historic facades, the architects creative scope is limited to rear of the properties. But there also lies an opportunity to create something surprising or clever. A delightful response to the brief that is not always visible from the street. 

This project offered that same opportunity! Here’s a few images of what it was like when we started. 

Melbourne Style Extension- existing rear view
Melbourne Style Extension - front facade
newtown house existing kitchen
newtown house existing bathroom
Melbourne Style Extension- existing backyard

Open and Connect!

The existing two bedroomed cottage’s living space was disconnected from the north facing backyard by a pokey bathroom and access through a narrow galley type kitchen. With walls of the neighbouring houses a shoulder width away, the most viable  opportunity for improvement was to move the bathroom and kitchen into the centre and open the living room up to that outdoor space. 

Rather than following the cottage style, the owners were looking for an open and modern contemporary aesthetic. Historic Area town planning rules allowed only for maintenance and fresh paint to the facade, so all efforts were focused on the rear of the property. 

Melbourne Style Extension - landscaped yard
Melbourne Style Extension - spa area

Contemporary Cottage.

The owners brief was quite simple..  “We’d like a contrast between the old and new. Retain the cottage look at the front of our house and have a modern, contemporary structure out the back”

This extended to include a total house internal makeover including renovating the two front bedrooms and hallway, a new bathroom adjacent to the new open kitchen living area.  Extensive landscaping transformed the under-utilised backyard and tied the whole project together, enhancing the architecture and resulting in a stunning living space.

Melbourne Style Extension living from kitchen
Melbourne Style Extension-dining and living
Melbourne Style Extension- kitchen from breakfast area
Melbourne Style Extension- living to kitchen
Melbourne Style Extension - bathroom
"We really enjoyed working with the team”, “... Michael (Active Architecture) understood our vision and what we wanted to achieve. We loved that they were almost as excited about the build as we were!"