Home Tour | Mary Street by Edition Office

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    In Melbourne’s bayside suburb of St Kilda, Edition Office have reimagined a well-worn Federation-era home through a robust material palette and a strong sense of connection to the outdoors. Described by its owner as an ‘urban refuge’, the home exemplifies the Melbourne-based architecture studio’s expertise in delivering a coherent dialogue between the built and the natural.

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    Artwork by David Larwill

    Mary Street emerges as a quiet pocket stitched into a busy urban neighbourhood; all those who enter are immediately instilled with a sense of calm. The home’s owner paints a picture of the home’s transporting effect: “We open the picket fence gate and walk through a garden to the heritage veranda. As we approach our front door, the sense of the old creates a smooth transition to the refuge within. The urban noise melts away as you step inside and are instantly grounded by the temperament of the house.”

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    The living spaces connect to the outdoors through timber-framed sliding doors and a circular skylight. Pictured: the B&B Italia Camaleonda sofa, Miyazaki DC09 dining chair and Apparatus Circuit 4 Alternating pendant.

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    A custom-designed kitchen island made of brick and Rosso Levanto marble ties in with the backdrop of rich blackbutt timber. Pictured: the Frama Adam counter stool.

    Naturally resilient materials were utilised throughout the project, with recycled bricks being the dominant building material in the new addition, which houses the kitchen, dining and living areas. Manifesting in the form of solid brick walls – some curved, others straight – this robust base material is paired with concrete walls and ceilings. The use of curves, the architect mentions, softens the palette and guides movement through the spaces. The owner attests, adding, “[The curves] ensure our eyes travel up and around, connecting us to the elements via the skylights and the gardens.”

    The kitchen is characterised by blackbutt timber cladding and Rosso Levanto marble, imparting a richness to the space. Due to its orientation, the kitchen and the adjoining dining and living spaces enjoy direct northern sunlight while feeling secluded from the street. Here, the family of five can gather without feeling crowded or distant from one another.

    “Glimpses of imperfect solid brick walls, robust concrete forms, curves and sculptural forms ensure our eyes travel up and around, connecting us to the elements via the skylights and the gardens.”


    – The homeowner

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    Artwork by Charlie Ingemar Harding

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    The new addition is characterised by a robust material palette of recycled bricks and concrete. Pictured: the Fredericia Hunting chair.

    The parent’s bedroom and ensuite are housed within an upstairs volume, extending from the ridge of the original terracotta-tiled roof. This private retreat, which includes its own outdoor courtyard, is lined in the same rich spotted gum as the kitchen, creating a sense of haven and “adult drama”, as the owner likes to call it. The ‘secret door’ to the space is often left open to create a feeling of connectedness to the children’s bedrooms below, but the option for full privacy is always there. 

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    Amanda Oliver Gardens meticulously designed the landscaped spaces with the aim of ‘greening’ the building and providing a link to the natural elements. The greenery draping over the edge of the concrete roof draws attention from passers-by; “Local strangers stop and ask questions about the plants and the structures above,” the owner says. As with all Edition Office projects, the garden is an integral design component, receiving equal attention and consideration as the architecture itself.

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