In the serene neighborhood of St Kilda West, Victoria, Australia, located on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation, the Mary Street House emerges as a notable example of modern design harmoniously intertwined with historical context. Crafted by the renowned Edition Office, this home, originally from the Federation era, has been thoughtfully reenvisioned to cater to contemporary lifestyles while retaining its historical charm.
Mary Street House Technical Information
- Architects1-5: Edition Office
- Location: St Kilda West, Victoria, Australia
- Topics: Australian Houses
- Completion Year: 2022
- Photographs: © Rory Gardiner
The Mary Street House ingeniously reimagines a Federation era home into a modern sanctuary, using artfully designed brickwork and skylights to create a harmonious balance between private tranquility and vibrant social spaces within an urban setting.
– Edition Office Architects
Mary Street House Photographs
Blending the Old with the New
The house, situated at the end of its street and open to the northern sun, faced the challenge of maintaining tranquility despite its proximity to a bustling arterial road. The solution? A series of softly finished brickwork walls that define new social spaces, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors and providing a serene escape from urban clamor.
Architectural Choreography of Light and Space
The highlight of this urban oasis is the dining area, crowned by a skylight that pierces through the concrete ceiling. This architectural feature acts as a central pivot, illuminating the heart of the house. The continuous motif of undulating brick walls, a theme around the house, offers a protective embrace, shielding the residence from external noise and creating a dialogue between the new and the old structures.
The Intimate Sanctuaries: A Balancing Act of Privacy and Openness
Atop the planted concrete roof rests a pair of enigmatic brick volumes, housing a principal bedroom suite with a private courtyard garden and a compact studio. These spaces, lined with deeply-toned spotted gum plywood, offer an immersive experience of tranquility. This design choice not only respects the site’s heritage but also completes the visual narrative of the Victorian terrace houses in the vicinity.
Respectful Restoration: Honoring the Home’s Historical Essence
The original home has been meticulously restored. The transition between the old and the new is seamless, erupting gently from the central hall. The front garden fence remains low, symbolizing an open invitation to the community, while the outdoor firepit becomes a focal point for social interactions.
A Client’s Perspective: Living in a Modern Heritage
The clients describe their experience as a journey from the past to a serene present. The house, with its blend of robust concrete forms, sculptural elements, and skylights, facilitates a unique connection with the elements. The clever spatial arrangement ensures privacy without isolation, with the master bedroom acting as a secluded retreat. Practicality merges with luxury in spaces designed for work, study, and social gatherings.
Sustainable and Sensible: Materiality and Environmental Consciousness
The project’s use of low-cost, resilient materials like sustainably sourced recycled bricks reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability. The heavy utilization of thermal mass ensures a stable internal environment and reduces external noise impact, showcasing an exemplary model of sustainable urban living.
Mary Street House Image Gallery
About Edition Office
Edition Office, a forward-thinking architecture studio, distinguishes itself through a profound commitment to cultural, social, and technological research, enabling a unique exploration of material expression, form, and spatial practice. Renowned for their experiential design approach, their projects skillfully re-articulate the relationship between communities and their environments, striving to provoke thought and enrich interactions within the public realm. With a versatile portfolio that spans across various typologies and scales—including residential, institutional, commercial, educational, urban design, and interiors—Edition Office stands as a beacon of innovation in the architectural world, continuously challenging and redefining the boundaries between space, user, and community engagement.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Lead Architects: Kim Bridgland, Aaron Roberts
- Interiors: Edition Office
- Traditional land owners: The Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation
- Landscape: Amanda Oliver Gardens
- Construction: Format Group