The owners of Hiro-En House, a family of five, approached Australian studio Matt Gibson Architecture + Design to remodel their Victorian-era villa set within a garden in the Barrington heritage area of Melbourne. The award-winning residence draws inspiration from the Japanese architectural concept of "hiro-en," where a deep veranda is established outside a room to mediate interior and exterior spaces.
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"The contemporary addition challenges the concept of building low-quality, replica additions that attach themselves to the heritage fabric, and in effect compromise, confuse, and diminish the integrity of the original building," says lead architect Gibson. "We used a contemporary and interactive intervention instead to activate and open up the compartmentalized interior to the previously under-utilized green space."
The northern and western perimeters of the hiro-en-style deck are completely enveloped by the steel mesh curtain, which also serves as a rain screen and sun shade.
"Spaces and eras are distinguishable yet able to bleed into each other allowing subtle connectivity. Each space, whilst unique, continues a dialogue that is integral to the story of the whole," says Gibson.