Exquisite design and clever spacial provision has seamlessly transformed a Victorian era terrace in Fitzroy to a smaller place, providing a new home for a downsizing client to live and work. Most importantly, providing space to appreciate a lifetime collection of art, vintage cars and books, so that every moment in the house is filled with memories of their most treasured possessions.
Gallery House embraces a contemporary style of working and living. Inarc Architects’ well-considered alterations and additions (new kitchen, dining and studio) affording the terrace another cycle of life. While large enough for day-to-day activities, it also accommodates visits by the extended family, and provides essential space to curate and distil their valued collections.
Abundant natural light now floods the existing house through a pop-up lantern over the new dining area. A separate studio over the garage (housing three cars) acts as an office space, the garage’s new glazed walls providing a visual connection back to the house, extending the idea of a gallery space. Inside, walls are adorned with paintings, bespoke shelving houses books in the library and studio, and 3D works and sculptures are
It is perhaps the distinct yet complementary interior and exterior material palette that also brings Gallery House to life. While a light interior maintains that important sense of brightness, the exterior complements existing brickwork with darker, more textured materials.
Undoubtedly, Krause Emperor bricks are the hero. Providing a contemporary take on the traditional form, the studio features hit and miss detailing on the balcony providing essential privacy and a delicate lightness to the masonry work.
“The bricks are a subtle blend of the colours found in the Victorian era brick palette, the colours ranging from creams and soft caramels to dark Hawthorns. And the result is an ever-changing blend of colours reminiscent of an aged woven tapestry. The recessed mortar joints allow each brick to stand out as well as accentuating the fine proportions of each masonry unit. There’s not another brick on the market that combines this almost unpredictable and natural subtlety of colour, texture and proportion,” says Reno Rizzo, Architect Director,
Expansive double glazed steel windows open the kitchen, dining and living room to the Victorian terrace courtyard. Charred dark timber soffits add a sense of warmth and texture, and are a contrast to the white timber white washed timber floorboards inside. Along with the bricks, the soffits provide an important link between the studio, courtyard and terrace, connecting the new additions back to the existing house.
The integration of the interior and exterior spaces is brilliant. It is this, along with the way Inarc Architects has creatively refreshed old with new that makes Gallery House an absolute standout, more than meeting the client’s high expectations of design and material quality.
Architect: Inarc Architects
Product: Krause Emperor Brick blend
Builder: Marino Construction Management
Photographer: Nicole England