Balancing the Edwardian with the Contemporary
FGR Architects faced a tricky challenge in a home that possessed an Edwardian exterior, but required a contemporary interior. What resulted is a stunningly modern home that pairs past with present through a liberal use of glass.
When walking past FGR Architects’ Mitchell Street House, it would be easy to mistake it for just another modest home that fits the Edwardian model of every other house on the street. At street level, the classic exterior presents an unassuming facade, but when the eye is drawn upwards, an ultra-modern extension suggests that the house offers much more than meets the eye.
Inside the home and out the back, the house is striking, with a generous use of glass to emphasise the breadth of space. An expansive pool that intersects in the middle of the residence is a central feature, with ample lounging areas surrounding it, making the area the perfect location for social and family gatherings.
“My favourite part is the bare external feature wall, elegantly housing an open fireplace, which also works as a double height alfresco canopy floating over the first floor,” says lead architect, Feras Raffoul. “It frames the trees from the rear neighbour, making it look like the vegetation is part of the property, as well as increasing the sense of spatial volume”.
The extension to the home bears sleek, angular lines, but the most remarkable feature is the sheer amount of glazed glass that takes the place of walls throughout the home. For Raffoul, “The glazing facade allows for natural light to come through, wrapping around the space and resulting in the above structure to appear to hover over the glass, seamlessly. It enables interaction between occupants both visually and functionally, and assists in the privacy of sound. The translucency creates an invisible layer between the inside and outside, exposing the boundaries of the site.
Favouring a neutral palette and monotone colours, Mitchell Street House is filled with pale grey and white, while a stunning spiral staircase connects the levels and creates a sense of grandeur.
For the bathrooms, Raffoul says that a, “minimalist approach should also be used in bathrooms, where less is more when it comes to material and fixture selections. It is crucial for each zone; shower, bath, basin, to have their own special feel and sense of entitlement.”
“The fixtures were chosen because they are simple, timeless and elegant, complementing the philosophy of the home,” continues Raffoul. For the bathrooms, the owners and Raffoul elected to use Rogerseller’s Pinch bath outlets, Fantini Mare tapware, and Catalano Sfera wall hung pans with Peak push plates and in-wall cisterns. Raffoul frequently works with Rogerseller as, “the fixtures and fittings that Rogerseller supply have their own beauty and timelessness, and sometimes we design bathrooms to complement these fittings.”
The clear highlights of the house for Raffoul are the, “Natural material choices, a limited palette and interlinked garden spaces combining to create a calming backdrop to the spatial experience. To maintain a sense of privacy for the occupants, the ground floor offers everything for engaged living without intruding on the private sanctuary of the first floor. The overall composition results in the experience of relaxation and tranquillity.”
Words by Christina Rae.
Photography by Peter Bennetts.