Architecture: Mary Street House

Apr 21, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Tom Hutton
  • Architect DX Architects

The gritty inner-suburban laneway sets the immediate context for the alterations and additions to this four bedroom family home. The Victorian frontage was retained to blend in with the heritage controlled street, while the rear addition optimises the building design for solar gain and ventilation, and creates a flexible approach to living on a typical small inner-suburban block

Looking at the regular grain of the local sub-division pattern, this house sets out to develop an architectural strategy which squeezes and stretches the rectangular divisions of the local neighbourhood’s 19th century working class urban model. The plan was pushed and pulled to accommodate the components of the brief. The walls at the front of the house follow a traditional regular pattern, whereas at the rear the walls skew, volumes carve out, and edges blur.

The external elements were developed to reference the immediate rear laneway context. The corrugated metal wall cladding mimics the typical roofing, and the un-modulated double-height brick walls are akin to the scale of the local former industrial factories.

The contrast between the old and the new set up an architectural strategy contrasting the opposing ends of this alteration and addition.

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