East Melbourne House by Zoë Geyer Architect
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.
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Award for Heritage supported by Heritage Council Victoria.