Canning Street Home by Techne Architecture + Interior Design

  • Canning Street House by Techne

    Techne Architecture + Interior Design draw on the heritage bones of an inner-city family home to introduce a light and liveable rear pavilion.

    Since their inception Melbourne-based architecture studio Techne Architecture + Interior Design have asserted a consistently innovative and unconventional approach to residential design. Their honest designs offer a distinctly Melburnian flavour, shaped by the climate and the importance of tactility.

    The team were welcomed inside a two-storey terrace in Carlton North, Melbourne, to address a pre-sale renovation that lacked for its optimisation of space and natural light. A cramped family living space just wasn’t going to cut it for a family of four with two young children, so Techne Architecture + Interior Design set out to create a calm, light-filled rear pavilion. While also restoring key heritage features, Techne Architects have designed a family home that draws tranquillity within from its well-established garden. 

    Techne director Nicholas Travers says their brief encompassed a contemporary intervention, sympathetic to the existing home’s heritage. “Our client wanted tactility and warmth in the design, which is a hallmark of all our work,” Nicholas says. “We identified that the kitchen, living and dining area could be significantly improved by demolishing the existing addition and creating a new pavilion structure which was a little larger and more light-filled.” In this way, the pavilion could improve the home’s connection with the garden and offer visual interest through a dramatic roof form. 

    This new pavilion appears far removed from its inner-city locale, laced with lush foliage. Ideal entertaining spaces unfold from inside to outside, letting gatherings spill out onto the alfresco dining area and lap pool. Featuring full-height black steel glazing, the new pavilion’s raw materiality strengthens its connection with the traditional brick facade. “The architectural skillion roof maximises the garden view and sunlight in the space, creating a transparent connection with the garden,” Nicholas says.

    The Techne Architecture + Interior Design team also created a sense of tranquillity in the family spaces through a consistent material palette. The timber ceiling highlights the roof form from within, mirrored by the timber cabinetry in the kitchen, which is repeated in the master bedroom wardrobe, alongside timber wall panelling. Black fixtures and joinery handles let the black steel framing feel right at home. Grey and white tones are punctuated by exciting pops of colour like the eight Gubi Beetle dining chairs; echoing Techne’s bold and playful approach. 

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    In the existing home Techne preserved the plaster cornices and ceiling roses, while restoring all five fireplaces and chimneys on both levels, as per the homeowner’s request. A light ‘floating’ porcelain was selected for the mantle, just as in the kitchen benchtop. 

    Nicholas says they are proud to create a home that has a light and airy centre of activity, bringing a sense of contemporary liveability to a stately Melbourne home.  “But we are just as proud of the mix of raw and refined materiality throughout the entire home,” he says. “This complements the existing period features and achieves a seamless threshold between the old and new.” 

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