South Yarra Void House
“A key move was to remove an upper level bedroom to create a void above the dining space below.
This new double height space has become a new focal point for the home, creating drama amongst the relatively modest ceiling heights of the old addition and opening the living areas to the sky and the trees of the rear yard and surrounding properties.”
|South Yarra Void House||Residential Alterations + Addition||South Yarra, VIC|
Andrea + David, a busy professional couple downsizing from a larger family home
What they wanted
To convert and upgrade their student rental property into a residence for themselves with provision to house their adult children in the short term.
An alteration and minor addition to an elegant heritage protected single storey double fronted Victorian home which already had a solid but uninspiring and tired 1970’s double storey extension.
Site: 337m2 / Floor Area: 207m2 = 201m2 (existing) + 6m2 (addition)
En route to becoming empty nesters, the clients owned an elegant double fronted single storey Victorian home which already had a solid but uninspiring and tired 1970’s solid brick rear extension.
They required an upgrade to the residence to house themselves with provision to house their adult children in the short term. One of the owners was also looking for a small space to work from home that would be more than just a converted bedroom with a poor outlook or a residual space tucked underneath or beside the stairs.
A number of strategic alterations and a tiny side extension were proposed. A key move was to remove an upper level bedroom to create a double height dining space below. This new focal point for the home has created drama amongst the relatively modest ceiling heights of the old addition and also opened the living areas to the sky and the trees of the rear yard and surrounding properties. It also unearthed a delightful work space beautifully positioned above the kitchen. This space has an unusually long and diagonal view through this void and garden, and into the neighbouring treetops and sky beyond.
Additionally, new windows and other metal elements were inserted into the building fabric of the existing rear addition to enliven the spaces. As with the building, as much of the existing was retained as possible when considering the new landscaping throughout the property.
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
The owners were progressing towards becoming empty nesters who were downsizing which meant that the house could also downsize. This enabled the focus of the project to be on quality rather than quantity of space. The removal of an upper level bedroom actually decreased the floor area but provided a huge improvement by creating a focal point for the rear of the house and variety amongst the existing internal spaces. It also opened the rear living spaces to the neighbouring trees and sky.
Although some structural works were undertaken, these were avoided unless absolutely necessary. All of the new windows replaced poorly performing existing windows: No new external openings were provided. This enabled the focus to be on upgrading the quality of the finishes and fit out of the internal spaces.
One of the clients required a small space to work from home but wished it to be more than just a converted bedroom with a poor outlook or a residual space tucked underneath or beside the stairs. The creation of the void space unearthed a delightful work space beautifully positioned above the kitchen with a view through this void and garden and into the neighbouring treetops and sky beyond.
All windows in the old addition were replaced with replaced wth double glazed windows with low e coating with new insulation throughout walls and roof.
Typically the size of spaces should increase within a home as one moves to the general living spaces from non-habitable or more private spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms. This did not happen with the existing house as the ceiling heights in the rear extension were substantially lower than those at the front of the house within the original Victorian part. This felt awkward. This was remedied through the removal of the upper level bedroom to create the double height above the Dining room. It provided relief amongst, and distinction between, the adjacent lower ceiling spaces of the kitchen and living area. It also created connection to the upper level, in particular the study and landing spaces.
Supplied by owner
Kepler pendant lamp by Ariho Miyake