It’s always impressive how an architect can retain historical beauty while modernizing spaces to create, what seems like, an an entirely new structure. That is precisely what AM Architecture did with Hawthorne House. Situated in a Melbourne neighborhood of traditional Victorian homes, this modern dream residence now embraces both ideologies while catering to a contemporary lifestyle.
The rooms at the front, including a converted home office, were updated yet left to their authentic character. The rear of the home is where the dramatic transformation takes place. The entryway segues seamlessly from one era into the next, instilling a sense of surprise when the main living areas are reached.
An original brick home, the architects gutted the back portion in order to open the space, unveiling an airy vibe to the formerly contrived spaces. A shared living room, dining room and kitchen now occupies this space. The gardens, grill and swimming pool reside on the other side of the large sliding glass doors and can be immediately viewed via an extended hallway from the foyer. This boundariless zone between the greenery and interiors induces a spatiality never before present in this historic house.
Warming hues of timber, white and grey generate a soothing vibe. An entire ceiling of blackbutt timber is cozy to the main living area which is furnished with a contemporary sectional sofa in a neutral tone. Opposite the seating is a entire wood wall which features a linear fireplace, hovering shelf and vertical slats as a partition between the room and staircase.
To the left is the stand-out kitchen, where I believe the minimalist design makes maximum impact. An ingenious concept, sliding wooden doors conceal a pristine pantry storing appliances, wine refrigerator and shelving for dishes and glassware. A hulking Calacatta marble slab tops the center island which melds into the elongated, rectangular wood dining table. Bathroom basins are also dressed with this sleek marble .
Dining options are also offered outside at the bench table underneath the poolside pergola which is wrapped in growing with grape vines, as is the remarkable balcony addition. This trussed structure is decidedly modern yet seems to embody similar fundamentals of design which the Victorian-era was also rooted in. Bedrooms are privy to this new area, once again, allowing the outside to enliven the inside spaces. A plush lawn and glazed “fence” contribute to the fresh look of the renewed backyard.
Hawthorne House holds on to its heritage while becoming a spacious dream home conducive to modern living.