2013 Houses Awards: Heritage

Heritage East Melbourne House by Zoë Geyer Architect Houses Awards

Jury comment

Of the many challenges of residential design, working within the constraints of an existing building rates as a major one for many designers and prospective owners. When the existing building has a heritage provenance and falls within planning and other controls, the problems can seem even larger. How refreshing, then, this project is to behold. It is not a generic solution that can be readily applied to other heritage buildings, but an exemplar of care, craftsmanship and fine judgments.

The architect has taken a 126-year-old building of substance, great solidity and presence and, with an ambitious client, has wrought a fine, beautifully detailed modern dwelling befitting of its location and heritage status. The great optimism and joy of this solution, and the creative reassignment of existing spaces, circulation paths and contained volume, is highly successful. A committed design approach by the architect coupled with the client going that extra distance has resulted in an exciting and engaging single contemporary dwelling.

This distinguished project proves that in the right hands the so-called impositions of heritage have been the cue to fly.

See full image galleries of all the winning and shortlisted projects here.

Award for Heritage supported by Heritage Council Victoria.

Products and materials

Recycled slate from P & S Roofing.
Internal walls
Hard plaster, plasterboard and Viridian Colourback Glass panelling, all painted in Dulux ‘China White’; Artedomus Inax wall tiles; Signorino Grigio Armani marble slabs, honed; MDF lining with custom grooves in Dulux paint, various colours.
Windows and doors
Custom steel reveals, doors and windows painted Dulux black; Window Energy Solutions window films; Velux VSE top-hung skylights; Viridian Decor Pattern Squarelight; Centor door tracks; All-good D-Line door handles.
Timberzoo salvaged blackbutt in Bona Traffic sealant (interior) and Cutek sealant (courtyard); Bisazza Bianco tiles; existing timber flooring to front of house in Danish soap and water finish, and to rear in matte polyurethane finish.
Artemide Talo lights; Ares Mini Ada lights from Versalux; Delta Ultra 250 Hi light from Inlite; Viabizzuno Lenticchia suspension light and C2 Semincasso Tutta Lucce wall lights from Xenian.
Franke Planar sink, and Ideal Standard Tonic mixer, both from Reece; Smeg dishwasher, gas cooktop and Linear ovens, and Liebherr fridge, all from Elite Appliances; Zip Hydrotap; Qasair rangehood.
Agape Pear basin from Artedomus; Alape wall basin, Pozzi Ginori wall basin, Phoenix Liscio tapware and fittings, Cosmic basins, and Mizu bath, all from Reece.
Heating / cooling
Crystal Clear Engineering hydronic panels.
External elements
Custom lattice fencing in Weathershield black paint.
Bedroom furniture and coffee tables in Signorino Grigio Armani marble offcuts on black steel frames; metal joinery cupboard to ensuite in aluminium with custom laser-cut patterns, with black anodized finish; hoop pine ceiling to main bedroom.


Zoë Geyer Architect
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Zoë Geyer
Audiovisual Wyatt Audiovisual
Boilermaker R & I Dekker Design
Builder and landscaper DC Construction
Engineer JSC Consulting Engineers
Heating Crystal Clear Engineering
Joinery Gillron Services
Lifts consultant Lift Shop
Lighting Ben Lüder
Metalwork Outdoor Nation
Site Details
Location East Melbourne,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site area 523 m2
Building area 209 m2
Project Details
Status Built
Design, documentation 14 months
Construction 11 months
Category Residential
Type Alts and adds, Heritage, New houses



Published online: 25 Jul 2013
Images: Dianna Snape


Houses, August 2013

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