DX Architects

DX Architects designed the alterations and additions to a beautiful single-fronted, double-storey terrace on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD. Volume and light are not usually associated with a dual aspect terrace on a narrow and long plot of land, and yet, the new space is filled with light, space and a sense of expansion.

The addition was carefully designed with recessive design elements complimenting the heritage context and character that was greatly valued by the community. The design plays with elements of height and quality of light, giving a sense of relief and space to what was originally an enclosed, dark terrace.

The original terrace, constructed in the 1880s, boasted 3.4-meter-high ceilings. The height of these ceilings was emphasised with the inclusion of a central open tread staircase which bounding the boundary wall creating a large void below the skylights above. The kitchen and living spaces on the ground floor benefit from the filtered light and ventilation created by the central staircase and void.

To further highlight the volume and verticality of the terrace, the original brickwork was carefully exposed, imperfections and all, extending from the ground floor to the ceiling of the first floor, providing a striking juxtaposition to the airy and modern staircase. Exposing the structural steel around the staircase and void was a key design decision to help marry together the new with the old.

Space was of great value from the initial conception. The interiors were based on a simple, yet timeless palette of warm timbers, neutral colours and exposed materials to reflect the light and enhance the sense of space. The kitchen and laundry were consolidated into a sleek line of joinery with integrated appliances to create an uncluttered and refined design aesthetic. The addition of full height and full width steel windows ties the project together, extending the home into the backyard and offering an abundance of light.

Napier Terrace is the epitome of a generous home on a small site. Through a process of engagement with our clients and proactive design we have been able to inject new life at a whole new depth to this home.

Emily Bartlett Photography