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Reverse Tree Change House


This renovation and extension to a narrow single fronted terrace house was the beginning of a family’s unconventional move from suburbia to inner city Fitzroy. Our clients sought to create an edgy yet comfortable urban home for themselves and their two grown up children.

Our challenge was to transform a compact terrace house into a functioning family home. As the heritage fabric of the building had been heavily modified over the years, we had the unique opportunity to entirely redefine the spaces within this building. A light filled communal living room forms the heart of the home, with a sculpted plywood ceiling above a two-storey void that brings an abundance of natural light into the space. Existing brickwork was salvaged and re-used for the new portions of the house, with reverse brick veneer providing a beautiful visual feature internally as well as a thermally efficient wall construction to the new living space. Recycled timber beams were incorporated into the structure of the building in response to the client’s love of timber and connection to the timber industry.

The homes private spaces are ‘tucked’ into other parts of the house, making use of all available space and creating a sense of separation and privacy. At the upper floor, two separate bedroom zones are connected via a staircase, and an open walkway linking across to a rooftop balcony. The lower level utilises skylights to draw light deep into the house, creating a serene ambience to the master bathroom and providing a dramatic view of the sky from the bath.

This project demonstrates that a small footprint is no barrier to creating a functional family home that is both unexpected and deceptively spacious.

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