The brief: To sympathetically balance the architecture of the Victorian terrace and extension by architect Mick Jörgensen to create a functional home for a young family.
Autumn House effectively became two restorations and one addition. “The brief was to provide a contemporary family home with rooms and spaces sited in and around existing buildings, the mature elm tree, and providing a variety of intertwined garden spaces for the twin girls to explore and play,” says Melissa Bright, director of Studio Bright.
Design outcomes Autumn House has three parts: the original Victorian, the Jörgensen addition, and the new contemporary works. The body of work involved the restoration of the Victorian front and hallway, including bringing archways and cornices back to their former glory and adding some playful detailing to suggest a modern intervention.
The space has been reconceived as night-time spaces with two kids’ bedrooms, shared bathroom, small laundry and informal living area. The Jörgensen renovation was respectfully kept intact, honouring its rich material palette. The new north-facing, two-storey extension celebrates the mature elm tree at its heart. This “unapologetically contemporary” space houses the functional aspects of a family home, including living, kitchen and dining areas, as well as an activity space with private study, bike room and services shed. The upper level consists of the master bedroom, ensuite and roof-top deck.
The home’s exterior expression takes on a whole new form with a structural mesh facade. “Composed of a delicate framework of steel atop a perimeter garden and finished with an expanded steel mesh screen”, the facade appears as a floating veil, solid yet transparent and cocooning the master suite inside. Adorned with various species of climbers, the mesh screen will one day become a wall of lush greenery, providing privacy for the family and a welcome site in its urban context.