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    Century-old Melbourne home welcomes a California bungalow-inspired addition

    Elwood VIC 3184

    Elwood House was one of many Californian bungalows in Melbourne’s Elwood that was in poor condition. Despite its state, the 100-year-old home had its bones intact. Its owner also still valued the history and style of the building.

    The home just needed a bit of work, and this is where Star Architecture came into the picture.

    Demolishing the cramped rear section of the dwelling, the architects were able to design a contrasting double-storey addition to the existing home. The extension is respectful of its neighbours and the streetscape, and is not prominent from the street front.

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    The ground-floor addition – which houses the kitchen and living space – features a dark render and a glass shell that makes the most of the natural northern light. New windows are framed with timber, referencing the formal heritage detailing of the existing home.

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    22532-Living-Room-Peter-Bennetts.jpg

    “The transparent box soaks up the natural northern and western light and utilises reflection from the existing pool to further bounce light around the internal space. It is a bright, spacious centre for gathering, sharing and enjoying the connection to the garden, barbeque and pool,” says the architect.

    Upstairs, the box addition – which accommodates the children’s bedrooms – takes somewhat of a different design approach with a smooth off-white cement render.

    “The new first-floor addition distinguishes itself from the more transparent ground floor as a solid monolithic box,” says the architect.

    It is offset from and overhangs the ground-floor envelope, providing shading below and moderating the bulk of the overall mass.

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    Despite the difference approaches, spotted gum elements feature throughout the build uniting the two new structures.  

    In addition, details such as the tuckpointing of fa├žade brickwork, a new cobbled bluestone driveway, a reinstated timber fence and a formal geometric front garden has strengthened the heritage fabric of the street.

    Key Info

    Architect: Star Architecture
    Builder: Star Kolektiv
    Landscape Architect: Lachie Anderson Landscapes
    Structural/Civil Engineer: ACOR Kersulting 
    Interior Designer: Fiona Lynch
    Words: Nicholas Rider
    Photography: Peter Bennetts 

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