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Residential Design - Alterations & Additions $200K-$500K construction cost

Laptop Pro
Winner: Residential Design – Alterations & Additions $200K-$500K construction cost
Entrant: EME Group
Phone: (03) 9699 4688
Photographer: Scott Haskin

The brief was to create a functional, light, contemporary residence, whilst respecting the existing heritage building.

South Melbourne is characterised by an eclectic range of developments. There are many single storey Victorian and Edwardian cottages located on narrow blocks in the area. Many have single or double storey extensions. This tradition of appropriate densification is followed in the alterations and additions of ‘Laptop Pro’. A contemporary design has been achieved that respects the existing character, whilst enhancing the amenity of the modest existing dwelling. The design elements used, such as the sensitive massing and orientation, incorporation of a central courtyard (for solar access and cross ventilation), the elevated living area for solar access, and the contextual references, ensure this is an appropriate building improvement.

The design layout and massing of this extension provides an alternative model to the standard boundary setback response. It is successful in this context because it is a unique single fronted corner terrace surrounded by properties that are at maximum height and density. Using the full width solution and the cut-in courtyard, this design ensures that solar access will be efficiently maintained and maximised, despite the difficult surroundings.

The jury considered this project an outstanding entry. The existing building was a small period residence on a prominent street corner in South Melbourne, sited within a heritage overlay, surrounded by large scale buildings. The resolution of the small site and this difficult context, by the manipulation of building form, through a series of multi level courtyards creating “pods” was skillfully and convincingly executed. The detailing of a contemporary facade assembled from non traditional materials linking two heritage building, provided the project with an innovative edge. The internal planning, and passive solar considerations were well considered and integrated into the overall design The assemble of the project into a coherent whole providing diverse and extensive accommodation, environmental management and contribution to the streetscape through its innovative facade detailing made this project a clear a winner in its category