This bluestone beauty in the centre of Melbourne was rebuilt and restored to its original glory, with a useful extension that adds contemporary flair to this impressive design
Melbourne and bluestone go together like bricks and mortar. They’re a match made in architectural heaven; a pair so perfectly compatible we can’t imagine one without the other. In fact, Melbourne was built next to the world’s most expansive volcanic basalt plains, so it’s no surprise the heavy, dark stones went into edging many Melbourne laneways and constructing countless homes, churches and buildings.
Krassaris House in Caulfield is the latest bluestone gem we’re lusting over, and its transformation from heritage hag to regal estate is nothing short of miraculous, so we praise the angels from CBG Architects for breathing new life into this once dilapidated heritage home. Sitting smack bang in the middle of a large block, the home had seen limited attention for the better part of a decade, as the owners tried to work through heritage and planning concerns. “The weathered residence had strong backbones, but it was in need of a complete renovation,” says CBG architect Bill Katsabis. “Siting of the home on the substantial block made it extremely challenging to extend the home in its original location.”
Ultimately, the council concurred with the proposed plans, and allowed the home to be dismantled and moved from the centre of the spacious site and rebuilt closer to the front setback. This allowed for a considered, modern, and respectful extension to occur at its rear. With council concerns behind them, the next set of challenges emerged, namely, the pressure to design an extension that complemented the existing home, and one which would act as a modern backdrop to exhibit the original structure. “The clients wanted a residence that transitions between the old and the new,” says Bill “They needed a functional and inviting home for a growing family and their friends.”
The existing home was rebuilt and restored to its original glory, with the single level extension creating a respectful backdrop through form, volume, and materiality. A generous open-plan living area accommodates the family’s need for entertaining, with a slightly sunken area that boasts an oversized couch and plush carpeting.
Outlook to landscaped gardens, and access to daylight from each habitable space were key elements to the client brief, along with the creation of spaces that promoted interaction while providing privacy for the individual members of the family.
“Attention to detail through the old and the new was critical to client, architect, and builder to create a dwelling that looked impressive and inviting, whilst also being extremely functional,” adds Bill. Not only does the residence now allow family and friends to interact, it also gives each family member privacy when required.
Rebuilt, revamped and revitalised, Krassaris House will stand proud for generations to come.
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Written by Louise Smithers
Photography by Pietro Giordano