King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

 

The high land values of Melbourne‘s inner city suburbs typically encourage many owners to add as much building on their site as possible. Not so for the owners of King Bill. They sought to give something back to the suburb they love by creating a new pocket park.

Designed as a love letter to Fitzroy, King Bill is a collage of the neighbourhood’s built history, textures and forms – its order and its chaos. The family of four commissioned Austin Maynard Architects to design their “forever house”. They renovated the existing two-storey terrace, incorporated an empty garden site to the east and re-used the old stable building at the rear.

As longtime Fitzroy locals, the clients chose not to capitalise on their block by exploiting the vacant site. They were after more living space but had no intention of maximising the economic yields by creating a huge home. Instead, they sought to give something back to the suburb through a rich and generous garden.

 

See more projects by Austin Maynard Architects on Yellowtrace.

 

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

 

The house (one of 5 terraces built around 1850) and its eastern garden were initially separate lots that were recently consolidated into a single title. Recognising the importance and heritage significance of the area, as well as the eclectic nature of the location, the terrace facade remains untouched. A glazed corridor now runs along the eastern outer wall of the old terrace, linking the original house with the stable – comprising the garage and parents retreat – and the new pavilion, which houses the kitchen, living room and dining room.

For two centuries Fitzroy has been a highly diverse suburb of Melbourne. Brick terrace homes, weatherboard cottages, post-war stud-veneer homes and 1960s flats sit comfortably next to corrugated sheds, old factories and repurposed warehouses, randomly broken by pocket parks and dense gardens. This diversity surrounds one of the most excellent neo-classical examples in Australia, The Fitzroy Town Hall, located just one block away from King Bill. Fitzroy’s history of boom and bust is written in its buildings, which has created a diversity and eclecticism rarely seen and maintained with such affection.

 

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

King Bill House by Austin Maynard | Yellowtrace

 

With this fascinating project, Austin Maynard set out to completely re-think the terrace house and the principles that created them. “Typically, you walk through the front door of a terrace, past two bedrooms to the kitchen/living and small rear yard, which is usually overshadowed by the house itself,” explains the design team. They set aside these principles and looked at the house as an empty space that needed a new purpose. Holes have been punched through the boundary wall on the east, and the entrance has been moved to the side to become a light-filled corridor linking the old house with the stable and pavilion. “With the entry moved, the original terrace entry porch is now a garden, and the entry corridor is now a bathroom, which brings delight to the owners as they watch visitors scratch their head while they try to figure out how to find their way inside,” said the architects.

Surrounded by an established garden, the glass pavilion sits in stark contrast to the dark masonry walls of the robust two story terraces on either side. As with many Austin Maynard Architects’ projects, the spaces created vary significantly in nature, enabling the users to occupy the ones that best suit their mood – the introvert who wants to hide away and read a book in a dark area, versus someone who wants to open up the walls and be in amongst the garden. Retaining the existing trees was fundamental to creating a variety of spaces. The house and the structure were meticulously designed to ensure that the existing trees remained intact throughout construction.

 

See more projects by Austin Maynard Architects on Yellowtrace.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Austin Maynard Architects. Photography by Derek Swalwell.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

Leave a Reply