By adding an additional floor to an already existing family home, de.arch have created Elsternwick House in Melbourne’s south-east. The addition channels the traditional ‘falu red’ cottages and barns seen in Sweden and Norway, which contrasts with the crisp white render and windows.
The practice was tasked with a brief that asked for a family home big enough for four occupants and a dog, that would allow the clients’ young boys to grow older comfortably within the home. This ultimately meant the home had to be flexible, while retaining enough garden space to entertain and simply kick a footy about. It was at this point de.arch made the decision to build up, as opposed to out and thus Elsternwick House was born.
Likened to a tree house, the new first floor comprises two bedrooms and a rumpus room for the two young boys. The addition sits comfortably above the original dwelling, a Californian Bungalow, and looks as such when viewed from the street. The addition is nestled gently into a tree canopy at the rear, connecting it rather obviously to nature. The manor red colorbond was chosen specifically to contrast the crisp white render and windows in a bid to differentiate between new and old.
The interior has been given a refresh on the bottom floor, with timber implementations and white walls the dominative figures within the textural palette. A timber window seat offers a place of refuge from busy schedules, with the white kitchen cabinetry and benchtop fitting seamlessly amongst the interior offerings. An uncovered outdoor deck allows for the home’s residents and their guests to easily move outside and immerse themselves amongst the lush green setting that is the backyard.
Referencing the iconic crimson of Northern European cottages and barns, Elsternwick House seeks to give its occupants a place to remain for many years without experiencing the inevitable pains associated with a growing family. Architects de.arch in their attempt to avoid building out into the backyard have given an additional storey to a home that now thrives due to its contrasting volumes and intriguing aesthetic.