Architect Robson Rack: The old house turns into a new one

The local community of Malvern recognized this house as architectural heritage. What are the owners supposed to do? Live in an old house or you can come up with a compromise. The owners invited architect Robson Rack, who designed the house in which the facade facing the street remained unchanged and the back of the house turned into a modern house with a patio and pool at the back of the house.

All photos by Lisa Kohen and Mark Roper

This obsolete Victorian residence was completely re-planned. Wooden floors and walls are laid across the house, creating a harmonious, smooth transition from the old part to the new.

Customers wanted to see new rear living quarters open to the backyard. They also wanted these new spaces to merge smoothly with the old part of the house. We dismantled the annex of the 80s, raised 1 meter above the backyard. We moved this climb to the end of the corridor, making a ceiling height of 3.8 meters. This annex consisted of a living room, kitchen, pantry, and laundry. A new brick fireplace on request acts as a central axis for new premises and connects to the old facade. The kitchen has double-leaf doors to the ceiling, which allows you to integrate the room with the backyard. The living area with banquet chairs has large sliding windows.

The floors were replaced in the original residence by a dark oak tree, which smoothly passes to the three walls of the extension, forming a ribbon. This allowed the creation of seamless integration between the old and the new. The attic window allows the light to fall on this transition.

The spaces in the extension are determined by color solutions. The kitchen is finished with light joinery of oak and pale stone. The concrete floor helps identify the new room, and also allows the dark oak, light oak, and brown brick fireplace to co-exist in one space. A fireplace made of brown brick is a constant link and a reminder of the brick facade of the Victorian house. Inside this warm and textured palette lies a house, fully automated and technologically advanced.

This obsolete Victorian house was rebuilt and reborn, to carry out the challenge for another hundred years ahead. The house is fully automated and equipped with the latest technology. This smart automation, disguised inside natural materials. This created a seamless integration between the old and new interior design.

Plan Details

House single floor
Bedrooms — 3
Garage —
Heated Area 200 sq.m
Ground Floor Square: 0
1st Floor Square: 0
Width: 0
Depth: 0
Roof — hip
Bathrooms —
Wall materials — brick
Facade cladding: brick
Outdoor Living: Deck
Windows: panoramic windows
Max Ridge Height:

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