A Respectful, Light-Filled Addition To A Heritage Home

The Cnr Virginia project by Studio Prineas is a modern family home comprising two discrete bodies: an original heritage facade and sleek contemporary addition at the rear. These zones are connected by a glass linkway and yet kept separate by a distinctly different materials palette in each section.

‘Thankfully, very few of the its original heritage features had been lost over the years, however they were in need of some love,’ explains principal architect, Eva-Marie Prineas, of the restoration task she and her team faced, alongside the design of the contemporary extension. ‘In preserving the historic bones of the home, crisp white walls draw focus to era-defining hallmarks, including mellow timber flooring, ornate pressed-tin ceilings and cast-iron fireplaces,’ she says.

Externally, efforts were made to restore the character-filled facade with as much fidelity to the existing design as possible, down to the roofline which was kept to its original silhouette. Inside, a set of sunken steps acts as the threshold between the two sections, lowering the floor level of the rear extension and allowing for a second storey to be added within the outline of the heritage frontage. This additional level contains the main bedroom and ensuite and remains concealed from the street.

While restored heritage fixtures dominate the cosmetic character of the home’s entry section, Eva-Marie and her team opted for a more minimalist palette when designing the open-plan extension. Blackened timber and grey marble lend a cool, contemporary mood to the communal living zones, while recycled, exposed red brick sourced from a brickyard in neighbouring Alexandria adds a textural statement. The kitchen is clad in black Paperock: a construction material made of compressed layers of paper fused with resin, while pieces from local design designer Koskela furnish the living room.

Perfectly framed garden vistas are interspersed throughout the light-filled extension due to clever glazing interventions. A skylight attracts natural light along the boundary line while operable louvres open out onto the courtyard pool and backyard, which was filled with native vegetation by Custom Creations Landscapes.

The Cnr Virginia project is a perfectly integrated architectural design which amplifies the volume and scale of a space, while still retaining an intimate energy throughout.

See more projects by Studio Prineas here.


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