WALA renovates and expands a heritage listed home with a second-floor addition that presents a graphic, batten-screen facade.

Sited on a “pizza-shaped” lot in Albert Park area of Melbourne, a Victorian home was in need of a major renovation for a family of four. Charged with removing inefficient, ad hoc additions at the rear and adding on an architecturally distinct, light-filled space for the family, Melbourne–based architecture firm WALA created a volume covered on the exterior with a “wall of light” made out of translucent polycarbonate.

At night, the battens on the facade glow, further emphasizing the triangular shapes inspired by the gabled roofs of the home and its neighbors.

At night, the battens on the facade glow, further emphasizing the triangular shapes inspired by the gabled roofs of the home and its neighbors.

©Tatjana Plitt

Inspired by the slopes and angles of the existing home’s gabled roof and those of the Victorian homes in the area, the design team created a faceted, angular facade of vertical battens for the new extension.

Inspired by the slopes and angles of the existing home’s gabled roof and those of the Victorian homes in the area, the design team created a faceted, angular facade of vertical battens for the new extension.

©Tatjana Plitt

WALA started with rethinking the traditional placement of bedrooms on the second floor, instead locating them on the first floor in the rear addition. This decision allowed the bedrooms to take advantage of the privacy and security of a new street wall while opening up the living room on the second floor to receive better views and daylight. 

As an addition to a listed home in Melbourne, the local preservation regulations required the alteration be distinct from the historic home. This was done through both form and materiality.

As an addition to a listed home in Melbourne, the local preservation regulations required the alteration be distinct from the historic home. This was done through both form and materiality.

©Tatjana Plitt

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Historic Melbourne Home Sports an Angular Addition and a Batten Screen

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