Bustle House: Maintaining the Beauty and Continuity of An Ageing Victorian Terrace

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FMD Architects was in charge of renovating and extending an aging 19th-century Victorian terrace located in inner-Melbourne, Australia. Finished in 2017, the project was inspired by an analogy of the existing house as an ‘old lady’ in a bustle dress.

The architectural drawings were developed as though they were Victorian portraits of women taken in profile. The bustle dress was used as a language of self-expression that became the architectural equivalent of how the extension would add presence and character to the existing house without totally changing its identity and aged grace.

The modest addition houses a dining room, kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. It was positioned to the rear of the existing house and centrally to the site and the attached garden. This also means that the extension could blur and build the relationship between the backyard and the house as well as the nearby street and neighboring community.

Meanwhile, the language of the bustle can be seen in the curved walls and windows of the extension and the ribbon of timber that moves along the side boundary of the house. Bustling train with the timber balustrade can be considered as its lacework and the trees are its embroidery.

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Via FMD Architects