Northcote House by Melanie Beynon Architecture & Design

  • Northcote House by Melanie Beynon Architecture & Design

    Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design collaborate closely with a client – who also happens to be the home’s builder –  to design a thoughtful, timber-lined alteration and addition.

    In an est interview with Melbourne-based architect Melanie Beynon, the architect said her new, namesake studio was continually looking for ways to refine small dwellings. By drilling down on details, they aim to allow families to co-exist in less space and make each space work hard to prove its value. This rings true for the Northcote House, where the architect has brought their definitive approach to an extension and renovation of an old Edwardian home for a family of six. 

    With the owners skillfully managing and building the project, this unique collaboration summoned innovative structural solutions, refined Australian materials and talented craftsmen. Defined by its use of densely-slatted timber interiors and cedar shingles rear exterior, the Northcote House reflects a genuine internal cosiness and generosity of space, highlighted by changing natural light throughout the day.

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    The living space features an enviable Mid-century inspired custom bookcase and artwork by Emily Ferretti.

    Both architect and client were determined to keep the Northcote House to a single level, separated into an adult’s zone and children’s zone. The children’s zone takes up the front section of the Edwardian home, while at the opposite end lies the parent’s retreat. Connecting the two areas is a central living space; an immediately-inviting, voluminous and tactile space. In unexpected locations, custom joinery and storage units offer dual access to separated spaces. 

    The central living space unites the home’s fundamental material palette of reclaimed brick, Tasmanian oak shiplap timber panels and Blackbutt timber flooring. The kitchen combines this use of brick and timber, revealing the skilful hand of West Wood custom joiners, alongside a handmade Anchor Ceramics-tiled splashback. Outside, this rich timber palette continues with rustic Western Red Cedar Tasmanian oak shiplap shingles that clad the rear extension, coupled with a raised timber deck. Timber-framed sliding doors welcome copious amounts of natural light deep into the home; achieving one of the family’s central requests.

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    This space to play piano features the Snoopy Table Lamp by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos and artwork by Doris Bush Nungarrayi.

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    The Tasmanian oak and exposed brick living room features an eclectic mix of furnishings; the Roly Poly Chair by Faye Toogood, Oxydation Low Table by Ligne Roset, Ploum Settee by Ligne Roset, Applique 2 Bras Droit Pivotant by Serge Mouille and Tartan Kilim Rug by Halcyon Lake. 

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    The homely kitchen space features custom timber joinery by West Wood joiners, a brass tap from Brodware and Anchor Ceramics splash-back tiles.

    A harmonious dialogue between interior and exterior was developed through the mirroring of form – the saw-tooth roofline and pitched ceiling – the application of materials such as the shiplap timber and the glass openings. The timber elements will silver with time; a patina that will let the home settle into its surrounds. 

    The material warmth of the home draws on a Mid-century modern aesthetic with its timber-clad interior, as well as its timber and low lying furniture. Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design have also brought a sense of contemporary playfulness with the Terrazzo flooring in the bathroom and selection of furnishings such as Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly Chair, Serge Mouille’s Applique 2 Bras Droit Pivotant and Ligne Roset’s Ploum Settee and Oxydation Low Table. A shared appreciation for considered details between the homeowners and architect is also revealed in the Patricia Urquiola door handles and handmade paper pendants.  

    As the family grows, so will the character and personality of the Northcote House. Now well-equipped for family living, thanks to a close collaboration between the homeowner and Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design, the Northcote House is awash with natural light, celebrating the raw beauty of timber and its tender craftsmanship.

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