According to architect Tom Healy, this 1940s house in Preston, about a half-hour north of Melbourne’s CBD, was “showing its age” when he first came across it. The client engaged Tom Healy and Dan Ryan, who together make up the Melbourne-based practice Healy Ryan Architects, to upgrade the home to suit their evolving needs as a family. Namely, the redesign entailed a rear extension comprising recycled painted bricks and a series of upgrades to the existing house, which Dan describes as “general in nature but essential to the young, growing family”.
The new extension contains the living, dining and kitchen areas on an open plan. Healy Ryan Architects have employed recycled painted bricks, terrazzo floors and timber-lined ceilings to create a calming, textural quality within the space. The living area features a Faye Toogood Hem Puffy lounge chair, Flos Luminator floor lamp, Halcyon Lake Salsa Bali 178 rug and Monde sofa. Artwork by Liz Bird.
The dining and living areas enjoy a continuous dialogue with the outdoors through 3.3-metre-high stackable glazed doors. The outdoor area features a Cuero Butterfly chair.
“We and the client were aligned in our mission to respect the history of the original building, and so we opted to re-use the demolished bricks from the lean-in in the new extension,” Tom says. “Aside from the obvious economic and environmental benefits of using salvaged materials, there is also the beautiful element of instilling some of the old into the new.”
Healy Ryan Architects have also employed bricks in the interiors to establish continuity between inside and outside. Paired with cool terrazzo floors and warm timber-lined ceilings, the bricks impart a calming, textural quality to the open-plan living area. The floating paper pendant lights over the dining table, dark timber veneer of the island bench, and muted green cabinetry along the back wall further soften the space.
Healy Ryan Architects implemented different ceiling levels in the new build to create a more intimate feel within the kitchen compared to the living-dining space.
The kitchen features muted green cabinetry and an island bench made of dark timber veneer and grey stone.
Playing with light and scale, Healy Ryan Architects implemented different ceiling levels in the new build to create a more intimate feel within the kitchen compared to the living-dining space. Using the empty space, a linear skylight now runs the length of the dining area and casts a slice of natural light down over the living area. These areas enjoy a continuous dialogue with the outdoors through 3.3-metre-high stackable glazed doors on the north-facing side of the extension.
By embracing the act of repurposing while considering innovative ways to approach a uniform space, Healy Ryan Architects have formulated a humble home perfectly suited for its new owners.