Australian studio Taylor Knights has recently extended and refurbished an existing Californian bungalow in Melbourne‘s Brunswick West neighborhood, taking cues for its interiors from the colors in an abstract painting by Wassily Kandinsky.
For the clients, a creative couple with a teenager, achieving ‘more space and lots of it’ was never the goal, rather, opting for considered, flexible spaces that would adapt with them as a family.
Often, the very nature of alterations within heritage homes can call for fiddly solutions in negotiating the traditional corridor and room arrangements. In response, Taylor Knights’ strategy looked to avoid significant reconfiguration of the existing internal spaces by repurposing the generous ivy-lined side access, creating a lush and unassuming new entry point at the center of the home.
This approach enables the home to operate quite cleanly and disparately in two parts of a whole: the existing rooms now accommodate bedrooms, while the addition forms the new social heart of the home. These new primary living spaces are arranged in and around three sculptural masonry walls, creating nooks and reveals within the open plan of the new addition – spaces that could offer a place to sit and share with family, or to retreat within at other times.
For the client, creating a space that would also accommodate their diverse collection of artwork and literature was also an essential part of their brief – a family favorite being the much-loved print of Kandinsky’s Upward (Empor). This offered an opportunity for the architects to draw upon some of the artwork’s beautiful geometric and tonal elements, which in turn formed a reference for the interior palette within the new pavilion space. The result is the interplay between the white walls and light-reflecting timber lined black ceiling, and perhaps most noticeably, the striking sage green concrete floor flecked with dark local bluestone.
all images © Tom Blachford