Situated in Yarraville, Mavis House is an exercise in transformation and renovation. Originally a post war brick house, Australian architects Altereco has transformed the property into an expansive and contemporary family home.
The architects, who are driven by their desire to build and design beautiful and functional homes, were tasked by the clients to redesign the existing home to accommodate the expanding space requirements of their family.
With minimal yet clever design gestures, Altereco delivers a contemporary midcentury home that celebrates family life and its context.
With a deep concern for the history of the site and its environmental impact on its surrounding context, Mavis House focuses on updating the post war brick house into a home that caters to contemporary living. As such, the renovation architects introduced the necessities of modern living “including a walk in robe and ensuite to the master bedroom, a multi-purpose room and a renovated bathroom.”
In order to achieve these modern comforts, some internal wall alterations had to be done to allow the context of the existing home to meet these needs.
Beyond these modifications, the client specifically requested an open kitchen, living and dining zone to capture natural sunlight and create an inviting space. This area needed to be light and bright, and also have strong visual and spatial connections to the adjacent outdoor spaces. It also required privacy from the neighbors.
Conscious about the house’s environmental impact and also for their own energy savings, the clients likewise requested passive design strategies to reduce the need for heating and cooling. With this focus on energy efficiency, a new addition inspired and contributed to Mavis House’s overall success.
The main palette of the Mavis House is generally restrained and natural. The palette “of solid timber details, dowel battened screening, and fine handcrafted joinery elements in the living and kitchen create warm and inviting interiors that offer a sense of being in and surrounded by the natural world.”
This connection to nature is critical in transforming Mavis House into a warm family home. These design strategies also allow for the classic to meet the contemporary, and allows for inviting spaces that are well connected and seamless.
In explaining their design concept, Altereco Design says that the design was rooted at the existing post war brick veneer home. The house, which was in good condition, simply needed an expansion of space for the growing family. They add that, “ this original portion of the home houses the bedrooms/sleeping areas.
The modern extension to the rear touches the existing home lightly bringing the outside in. With expanses of glass and a skillion roof reaching north the light in the space is pretty special.” They also explain how the separation between the existing and new buildings create a natural garden space in between and contribute to the sense of being surrounded in nature.