The two-story extension of the South Yarra House in Melbourne was built by AM Architecture. Plants are expected to grow on the sides of this home creating a new master bedroom and living space for the owners.
The goal of South Yarra House is to create a place that is both wonderful to live in and that is in harmony with its unique context and reinforces an already strong sense of place. The client’s assignment was to enjoy the high prospects, regulate privacy on site and, above all, create a tree house.
The upper half of the structure is clad in copper and looks like a tree house. AM Architecture chose copper for the exterior to match the hues of the property’s historic masonry. But over time, when patinated, it will take on turquoise tones that match the color of the furniture in the house. The copper plates create vertical stripes across the facade. The surface contains eclectic window curtains that slide over a window that extends around the corner of the building, creating an accordion. Meanwhile, the base, surrounded by a black lattice frame, should become part of the garden. As climbing plants continue to grow on the sides of the building, it becomes more and more hidden in the green.
The extension doubles the size of the original house. It creates a spacious new kitchen and dining room on the ground floor, freeing up space for a study on the original property. Upstairs, the master bath becomes a third bedroom for the house. There is also a new family bathroom on this floor as the original bathroom has become a laundry room.
The glazing creates a visual separation between the old and the new part of the building. Inside, this change is heralded by a gradual change between the living room and the kitchen behind it. The exposed brick facade gives texture to the otherwise simply decorated kitchen with black cabinets and wooden floors.