A Remodel Turns a Dark and Choppy House in Melbourne Into a Bright, Flexible Family Home

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
A 1970s double-brick family home in Doncaster, Melbourne, was dramatically remodeled to take full advantage of scenic views of Ruffey Lake Park.

The owners requested a modernization of their 5,220-square-foot home that would result in brighter interiors, more flexible spaces, and better views of the park reserve across the street. 

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Before

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After

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Melbourne-based practice Inbetween Architecture, who worked on the project with the help of Aldona Pajdak on the interiors, reconfigured and extended the upper level to open up the dark and compartmentalized interiors to outdoor views and natural light. The new layout seamlessly connects the kitchen, dining, and living areas. 

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Because the existing floor plan was deep, the kitchen, pantry, and bathroom were consolidated into a central zone, so that the living areas could be positioned around the periphery of the house, where they could receive the most sunlight and enjoy the best views. The more private spaces were placed in the sheltered west side of the ground floor. 

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In the center of the ground floor, a timber-clad pod with a shelf and credenzas on one side, and appliance cupboards on the other, conceals a cloakroom, bathroom, and pantry—while also dividing the east and west sections of the floor plan. 

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The timber staircase in the center of the house was designed with custom shelving on one side and a double-height void with a skylight on the other. 

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On the first floor are large bedroom suites, an additional bathroom, and a generous north-facing terrace that can be easily accessed from the landing and master bedroom. 

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By cleverly reworking the layout and placing voids and skylights in strategic positions, the architects brightened this Ruffey Lake Park house, and better connected it with its parkland surroundings. 

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