est appreciates the striking simplicity of a historic terrace in East Melbourne reworked by architecture and design studio, Carr.
This East Melbourne home tells two stories; one of an ornate 19th-century Victorian terrace house, and one of a tranquil modern home within. Both stories are told with conviction thanks to the intervention of Carr, who’ve enhanced layers of interest and legacy in the face of a challenging site and context.
Carr have sensitively created three key zones; the all-white original terrace dwelling, a zinc-clad pitched roof silhouette opposite and a manicured courtyard in between. Completely reshaping the interiors, the East Melbourne Residence illustrates Carr’s cohesive response to light and space with a monochrome design sensibility.
Carr principal Sue Carr says every project begins with a big idea. “In the case of East Melbourne Residence, that idea sought to bring order and appropriateness of scale, respect for heritage and outright contemporaneity to a Victorian terrace,” Sue Carr says. At the core of the client’s brief was to achieve the ‘feel of space’, through what Sue describes as the play of light, reflection, neutral materiality and control of contrasts. To achieve the ‘feel of space’, Carr needed to understand how both natural light and artificial light would shape each area of the home.
True to the East Melbourne locale, Carr needed to comply with a strict heritage overlay. They highlighted the classic terrace facade with an all-white treatment while accentuating heritage details such as the arched doorways and cornices inside. Modern insertions include the ‘black box’ scullery behind the wall of storage in the main living space, concealing any clutter as it sets a streamlined and polished tone. Materials and finishes play into this outcome, with the Dulux Natural White walls and Dekton Zenith kitchen island bench.
“In this project we set out to provide greater clarity and legibility to the plan, ensuring that no spaces are redundant, everything has a purpose, revitalising a grand heritage house into a contemporary family home.”
– Carr director Chris McCue
The new zinc-clad garage and self-contained unit sits opposite the main heritage building –a considerate antithesis to the old, consistent in design language with other laneway studios. A courtyard lies between both structures injecting subtle green light through full-height glazing in the living and informal dining space. The outdoor living area offers a sense of peaceful privacy, underpinned by bluestone tiles and the owner’s collection of Bonsai trees.
Black and dark wood furnishings take part in Carr’s art of contrast. Noble pieces like the LC2 armchairs by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand for Cassina and Paul sofa by Vincent Van Duysen for Molteni & C cement the client’s appreciation for design. So too do the Gaggenau and Liebherr kitchen appliances and VOLA tapware, revealing the desire for seamless functionality. The Superloon floor lamp by FLOS and Robert Owen wall sculptures hint at a contemporary playfulness.
Carr have brought a new perspective to this East Melbourne home and the way it can be lived in while carefully respecting its architectural legacy.