This old single-fronted residence in Brunswick, Germany, is perfect for the clients at first but after a period of time overseas, it is no longer practical for their needs. With limited space, restricted access and proximity of neighboring residences, Austin Maynard Architects transform Union House to be a fun multi-level home with thoughtful design. Some dramatic and playful features are also added with the essential character of the clients’ first Melbourne home.
The clients decide to ask help from the architect to redesign this house rather than sell it up and move elsewhere. Te challenges of this building in the inner city are the limited space, proximity of neighboring residences, and restricted access. There is also a reality of change and modernization against a respected background for suburb history. Certain features of the original property are preserved in the best way that really engaged with the new build and new design.
The new home is narrow, long, and also sophisticated. The light floods into the top of the central stairwell and down two storeys into the center of the house through voids, netting, and perforated steel. The basement space has enough warm sun in winter through the north-facing living room with trafficable glass. The west-facing windows are covered by the louvres to reduce the hot-box effects in summer. The thoughtful design offers fluidity and flexibility to the house spaces, such as guest rooms, study rooms, and conjoined bedrooms.
Now the clients live in a harmonious space with real utility, offering easy coordination to study, work, and leisure activities. This house also engages with the clients in dynamic and subtle ways, continues to delight friends and family. It is a fun multi-level home without sacrificing practicalities and environmental considerations. There some spacees to be shared and also some spaces for seclusion. The house levels are modular, transparent, and split with dramatic and playful features.
Photographer: Austin Maynard Architects