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Yarraville House by Perversi-Brooks Architects

Perversi-Brooks Architects designed this inspiring residence situated in Yarraville, Victoria, Australia in 2015. Take a look at the complete story below.

The clients are a couple with two young children. He’s a Journalist, and she’s an Architect (Principle of a big commercial practice, doesn’t do houses, ‘too busy anyway, it would never get done…’) They don’t want, or need, more space than the existing Californian Bungalow provides, but they would like it to perform better; to open out the kitchen to the dining area so that the kids can do their homework at a large central bench, they do need more storage space, better lighting (and insulation), to fix the cracking lath and plaster walls and ceilings, an upgrade to the existing bathroom and laundry, and a new ensuite to the Master Bed.
Nothing particularly glamorous, certainly no opportunity for any kind of heroic architectural statement as my first project. Just a good, honest renovation for some lovely clients so that they can stay in their beloved pocket of Yarraville surrounded by community, shops and the boys local school.
The clients love Blue and green. BLUE and GREEN! Oh god…I’m not a big fan of blue and green, especially together (‘blue and green should never be seen…’) The client wants blues and greens, and timber… As I sit, lost, staring at my computer as it fits to a start one morning, the monitor turns from dead black pixels, to the glossy blue and green of the default Windows screen – rolling lush green hills and a picture perfect blue sky. The beginnings of an idea perhaps…?
There is something in this ubiquitous picturesque landscape – a freshness to the image, so sorely lacking in the grey-brown landscape of the inner-western suburbs of Melbourne. The blue of the sky; deep blue at the top and lightening towards white at the horizon where it meets the green of the hills – the green of the hills, inverted; light at the horizon and deepening in the foreground to black.
The iconic image is stretched, abstracted through horizontal bands – datums that reference the various working heights of the kitchen and bathrooms. The colours of the landscape are translated into bands of coloured tiles. The coloured tiles then reduced to timbers of tonal equivalents for the joinery components. The horizontal banding of these elements tie together the new insertions of the Kitchen, Laundry, TV Room, Bathroom, Master Robe and Ensuite within the built fabric of the existing classic Californian Bungalow, with its internal palette of rich timber panelling to the entrance foyer and dado panelling in the TV Room.
The house was re-painted throughout, and old weatherboards were replaced before being re-painted externally. Cracking Lath and Plaster walls and ceilings were demolished and relined with plasterboard for ease of ongoing maintenance.
Ceilings and the re-lined walls throughout were heavily insulated to provide a better thermal and acoustic outcome. And the clients got their blue, green and timber (laminate) landscape.

Photography by Ben Hosking

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