Finalist 2015 World Architecture Festival Awards (International)

Finalist 2015 National Sustainability Awards Australia

Shortlisted 2015 Victorian Architecture Awards AIA Houses Alterations and Additions

Shortlisted 2016 Houses Magazine

Starting with the ugliest house in the street on just 130sqm of land, this project recycles a 1980s clinker brick town-house, and transforms it into a spacious and functional 21st century family home. The focus is on adaptable use of space and sustainable design.

A new light-weight timber and steel structure is morphed onto the body of the old brick shell to provide in total, a top floor living level, a mid-floor sleeping level and a ground floor self-contained studio.

Taking its cues from the light industrial fabric of South Melbourne, the new addition is expressed in galvanised speedpanel cladding and a galvanised steel deck structure that is high and nest-like, its height ensuring that the winter sun reaches the ground floor living space facing north.

The north facing courtyard/car space and top floor deck are enmeshed by a sculpted SS X-tend tensile structure, engineered to support deciduous vines (ready to take off) that will screen the house from the ravages of the summer sun. Like a giant scale lattice, the X-tend mesh pays homage to the decorative verandah screen of the original Victorian worker's cottage that was demolished in the 1980s, before heritage controls were introduced.

Photography: Richard Glover