Contemporary Shakin Stevens House, Melbourne
According to the architects: “The conceptual drive for the interior of this house is largely in response to a brief which crystallised into a need to be connected with ‘green’ space. Beyond the heritage front the project wanted to not necessarily increase floor area but to increase amenity. To make spaces feel bigger, more functional, to be light filled, and to visually extend and borrow from within and beyond the site.
“The contemporary Melbourne property is not only about a coloured front door but the experience of what’s beyond it. Conceptually beyond this green door, there are no doors; the newer space is about flow and continuity where delineation of space is soft nd less finite than expected from the street. In a clear formal idea the rear composes three extruded white cubes that look essentially like they have been let go, landing like dice randomly on top of each other next to a Victorian ‘monopoly’ house. The three cubes, as with the existing villa, are composed so as to be immediately deciphered internally or externally and in clear programmatic zones all house different functions. The cubes which are opened at their ends (or sides where required) are utilised as devices to orchestrate views to green elements within the structure and to greenery within or beyond the site.
“The client requested a predominantly white interior with a feature highlight colour. Green became an obvious choice, working in combination with the proximity of the garden. The green spaces within and beyond the site became the focus with the white cubes acting as lens for these events – effectively assisting in bringing the green inside and dissolving barriers of enclosure. In this way interior, exterior, landscape & old and new – through colour – all inform each other with equal importance.
“The contemporary Melbourne property utilises many ESD principles – retention of existing structure, orientation and configuration of new works and so forth.”