Modernising History

Modernising History


This house’s historic past inspired Archengine to create a fresh, contemporary feel for its worn-out appearance.  

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Originally a large eclectic dwelling, this house had experienced many different styles and finishes over the years, which left it looking tired and worn. The client presented this project to the architects at Archengine with a desire to retune the existing DA approval. Gradually, the design developed over time to integrate a redevelopment of the entire site — a complete makeover from the bottom-up.

“We had to predominantly work within the extents of the existing DA approval so that works could commence prior to the approval of the Section 96 application,” says Archengine architect Justin Quinlan. “The approved DA retained all of the existing balconies etc. to the front, so we had to reinterpret these in a contemporary manner, while still perfectly replicating their size, arrangement and location.”

Despite being held within these boundaries, it was the original, historical design of the house that inspired Archengine to return the dwelling to its original roots. Initially a P&O-style, dualoccupancy structure, the house had lost its spark and flair over the years. Archengine sought to reestablish the building’s earliest appearance, giving inspiration for the house’s nautical detailing. Layer by layer, Archengine worked alongside building company Parkzip to strip the structure back to its most primitive form, improving on the original intent of the development.

Redevelopment of the site consisted of extensions and refurbishments to the basement, the ground floor and the first floor, which revitalised the exhausted interior. The refurbished garage, with a new glass-walled subterranean motorcycle workshop, adds a touch of class to the otherwise dark interior. On the ground floor, each room’s purpose has been carefully considered, with a stunning American oak hardwood-floored entrance that leads to a lobby, office, media room and extended lounge and dining room

The curved wall in the kitchen is one of the features of this fresh home Justin is most proud of. “It perfectly mirrors the curves of the original façade, screens off the service areas and draws you naturally into the informal areas of the house.”

Moving upstairs, each bedroom is complemented with an ensuite. The house’s five bathrooms are all adorned with Villeroy & Boch and Vola fixtures, adding to the modern layout of the house. Each tap, shower rose and towel holder is carefully placed to suit the structure and layout of each individual room, creating a unique experience for every aspect of the house.

Throughout the home, the contrast of white walls against the dark flooring gives the entire interior a refreshed, modern look, while still keeping with the original layout of the building. The unique interiors were done by both Archengine and Darryl Gordon of Darryl Gordon Design.

To increase the feeling of space and light in a house with a series of small, dark rooms, Archengine installed additional windows and skylights with sun controls to maximise the space in the home, as well as reduce energy use. For Justin, it is these inclusions that maximise the home’s quality. “The quality of the interiors, both in terms of spatial quality and finish,” he says, “the original warren of smaller darker rooms has given way to a series of light, flowing interconnected spaces.”

Justin and the architects at Archengine know that very often a home needs to go back to its roots before it can be revamped. This home has a bright future, thanks to its former state and Archengine.