2020 Houses Awards: House Alteration and Addition over 200m2

Joint winner: Ruckers Hill House by Studio Bright

Jury comment

Bands of stately Edwardian houses at the edges of our major cities mark the reach of tram and train lines over time. Ruckers Hill House by Studio Bright, an intriguing alteration and addition to one such Edwardian, reflects new changes to the city and the way we live in it. The new addition pulls to the rear of the site, giving importance to secondary streets, and sends up a first floor, periscope-like, to take the measure of Melbourne’s ever-changing skyline.

Ruckers Hill House celebrates then subverts the order of operation of the Edwardian. The original double-loaded central corridor is extended in high-vis, bisecting the garden into an entry court and pool. It is a powerful move that is then totally dissolved in the extension, which has a subtle and unexpected circulation logic. A floating metal staircase acts as a spatial divider while level changes and theatrical curtains demarcate rooms.

The addition has a rich and playful material language. It reinterprets and abstracts the brick, timber and leadlight of the Edwardian house, as well as responding to its workaday corrugated fencing and sense of diminishing formality from front to rear. Kitchen and casual dining are sited on the street, and views in and out are filtered through a screen – a generous civic act that registers the changing context of contemporary family life.

The Award for House Alteration and Addition over 200m² is supported by Taubmans. See full image galleries of all the winning and shortlisted projects here.


Studio Bright
Project Team
Melissa Bright, Robert McIntyre, Todd de Hoog, Emily Watson, Pei She Lee, Maia Close
Builder 4AD Construction
Engineer Meyer Consulting
Landscape architect TNLA and Rachel Freeman
Site Details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2019
Category Residential
Type Alts and adds



Published online: 31 Jul 2020
Words: 2020 Houses Awards Jury
Images: Rory Gardiner


Houses, August 2020

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