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The Enchanting Victorian Terrace Makeover by Andrew Child

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

Andrew Child Architect has undertaken an exciting project to transform a derelict semi-attached double-story Victorian terrace into a functional and beautiful home for a growing family. The proposal takes advantage of a former laneway, which serves as a key design element to enhance the experience both inside and outside the original 19th-century house.

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

Located in Fitzroy, where numerous privately created ad-hoc laneways exist, this particular property boasts a 2.5-meter-wide strip of land running from the front to the rear along its lengthy southern boundary. The design concept divides the property into two distinct zones: the former laneway strip and the remaining area to the north.

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

In a nod to its historical use, the new addition within the former laneway strip becomes the main circulation route throughout the property, housing more utilitarian spaces. On the other hand, the grander spaces, where the family is likely to spend significant amounts of time, are located in the northern part of the property.

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

The approach to new building within these two zones differs greatly. Externally, the addition within the laneway strip deliberately takes on a diminutive appearance. It is designed with a black color palette and features a lower, thinner, and lighter mass compared to the original Victorian building, which is characterized by its higher, thicker, and heavier white masonry structure. This intentional contrast between the old and the new helps to highlight the unique identity of each section while also creating a harmonious overall aesthetic.

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

Moreover, the introduction of this curious and respectful contemporary addition enhances the urban presence of the row of double-story Victorian terraces to the north. It contributes significantly to the evolving character of the neighborhood, showcasing a harmonious blend of historical elements with contemporary design.

itzroy Laneway House, Melbourne, AUS / Andrew Child Architect

The alterations and additions by Andrew Child Architect not only rejuvenate a dilapidated structure but also create a home that is well-suited to the needs and lifestyle of a growing family. By utilizing the former laneway as a design driver, the project not only enhances the experience within and around the property but also contributes to the urban fabric of Fitzroy.

Image courtesy of Tom Ross