The restoration of the Victorian workers cottage was approached with a remarkable fusion of two contrasting realms: the traditional Mexican courtyard home and the inner Melbourne Victorian style.
The original workers cottage, like many of its kind, faced limitations with regards to natural light and was bound by strict planning guidelines. In response, Splinter Society ingeniously introduced a curving roofline that gracefully allows the permeation of north-westerly light into the new addition. This addition not only brings an abundance of light into the space but also accommodates a second-level mezzanine, housing a luxurious master bedroom and ensuite.
The rear extension of the house, elevated by a rich material palette, forms a sculptural open living space and kitchen. A thoughtfully framed courtyard-like garden extends the living room beyond its boundaries, creating a seamless integration between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Careful selection of materials, including raked plasters, recycled timbers, weathered stone, and existing brick, contributes to an exquisitely textured and handcrafted aesthetic. The interplay of natural and artificial lighting further accentuates the dramatic ambiance of the interior. The design ethos extends to the kitchen, where a subtle grid pattern elegantly complements and merges with the rear garden, creating a harmonious flow and an inviting atmosphere.
To overcome the challenges posed by the limited block size, Splinter Society focused in on the interior to fulfil the client's programmatic requirements while enhancing the sophistication of the home, fostering a rich and immersive experience.
The 4.5-meter-wide, fully enclosed block led to the development of a linear sequence of open-plan spaces. By skilfully defining and connecting these spaces, the design challenges the spatial look and feel of the area through the strategic use of ceiling treatments, top lighting, and mirrors. The preservation of the front portion of the home was thoughtfully executed, maintaining the essence of Victorian masonry quality through celebrating with the play of texture, stone, and plaster. The integration of fine timber and steel elements complements this design approach, where raw finishes juxtapose polished surfaces, evoking a sense of age and permanence.
Where the existing structure meets the new addition, a brilliant light well is introduced, enabling even more natural light to reach the heart of the home, illuminating the space and creating an inviting atmosphere throughout.
Casa Victoria beautifully unifies the rich Mexican heritage of the client with the charm of a Melbourne Victorian workers cottage, resulting in a highly unique and captivating home. The careful consideration of materials, the strategic use of natural and artificial lighting, and the thoughtful interior approach all contribute to an immersive and sophisticated experience for the clients. Casa Victoria exemplifies how creativity and ingenuity can transform limitations into opportunities, breathing new life into heritage structure while preserving its inherent character.
Location: Richmond, Victoria
Architecture & Interiors: Splinter Society
Builder: Crisp Projects
Photography: Sharyn Cairns
The Splinter Society's Fitzroy design office are currently seeking an experienced Project Architect to join their team. If this position captures your interest, click the link.
CO-ARCHITECTURE COMPANY PROFILE
Find out more about Splinter Society Architecture via theirCO-architecture Company Profile