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Preserving Heritage: Spanish Villa Style Meets Natural Surroundings in Melbourne

Tatjana Plitt

Victoria House faced a challenge due to its small size and the extensive modifications made to its ground floor plan over the years. The addition of a pool and landscaping at the back had already taken up a significant portion of the available space. To address the need for more floor area, the decision was made to expand vertically by adding a second level, providing the family with much-needed breathing room. Design by AD, while staying true to the home’s original style, prioritized establishing and enhancing connections with nature, as well as refining the intricate details found in the original design.

Victoria House, Melbourne, AUS / Design by AD

Located in the charming streets of Malvern, Melbourne, surrounded by period-style homes, the design approach focuses on preserving the heritage of the front while introducing new elements that embrace the natural surroundings. Drawing inspiration from the original Spanish villa style, arched openings are reimagined both inside and out, with a solid masonry materiality that grounds the design.

Victoria House, Melbourne, AUS / Design by AD

Despite the constraints of the site, the floor plan has been expanded across two levels, maximizing space and ensuring a versatile layout for years to come. The upper-level addition is cleverly concealed behind the silhouette of the original home, maintaining its street frontage and character.

Victoria House, Melbourne, AUS / Design by AD

Privacy and enclosure are carefully balanced throughout the design, with integrated layers that allow for controlled sightlines, temperature regulation, and desired natural light. The addition seamlessly integrates with the existing landscape and pool, creating a harmonious contrast between solid and transparent elements.

Victoria House, Melbourne, AUS / Design by AD

The heart of the home is the newly realigned kitchen, which becomes the central hub for family life and entertaining. All other functions radiate from the dramatic 5m island bench, creating a captivating focal point. Every new addition has been thoughtfully designed to enhance the available space, with the upper level utilizing the full gable of the roof to define the interior ceiling profile.

Victoria House, Melbourne, AUS / Design by AD

The result is a meticulously crafted home that offers the owners an enhanced living experience, with carefully considered amenities and inviting shared spaces. Victoria House truly embodies the perfect blend of history and modernity.