Melbourne-based Architecture Architecture has turned an entire house around to get the most out of the area's northern exposure. When the owners of an aged Victorian-era home decided it was time to renovate, the innovative Australian architects saw the potential of moving the home's boundaries to create an ultra-luminous open floor plan. With just a little creativity and much strategic building technique, the Turnaround House now has a beautiful sunny, north-facing courtyard that extends from the open kitchen and living area.
Reworking the home’s boundaries involved creating a whole new configuration for the structure and removing an existing bathroom. In addition to “turning” the house around, the architects added a new dramatically pitched roof that permits high ceilings and louvred clerestory windows for added light and ventilation. For optimal insulation and thermal efficiency, they installed a concrete slab floor that allows for consistent interior temperatures year-round.
With the new design, the open courtyard has become the heart of the house and a perfect area for socializing. During the renovation process, the architects discovered an old chimney, which they then restored to working condition. Additionally, a large wall of beautiful original brickwork was found under a layer of plaster. The original bricks were cleaned up and the architects used additional recycled brinks to clad the rest of the courtyard walls, restoring the old industrial character to the Victorian home. White timber panels add a bit of contrast to the red brick, a feature that runs throughout the home’s interior and exterior.
The end result of the creative renovation is a stunning home that gives the occupants not only the optimal amount of natural light, but a large and private courtyard to enjoy during leisure hours. Architecture Architecture’s Nick James explains, “Constructing along this rear boundary maximised the solar orientation, blocked the neighbouring townhouses from sight and provided a private internal courtyard that could be enjoyed from many vantage points within the house.”
Photography by Tom Ross