A family of three—and their six vintage American cars—all find their home within this historic 4,500-square-foot building.
Principal architect Andrew Simpson and his namesake firm were tasked with preserving the architectural past of a Melbourne neighborhood while making space for a family's modern home. His clients, a couple who owns a stainless steel fabrication business, decided to relocate to the North Fitzroy suburb of Melbourne, Australia, for the city’s vibrant culture. Like many older parents, they also brought along their grown-up daughter in the process. Simpson understood that more and more adults were living with their parents, and he wanted to create an inclusive property that provided enough autonomy to each member of this redefining clan. He found that opportunity in a gargantuan space that had never, in fact, been a home. A 19th-century warehouse within a residential neighborhood had previously held a jam factory, an engineering consultancy, an advertising agency, and an aerated water factory, but it had never been a place where a family gathered for dinner or awoke from their beds. “The project was designed to take advantage of the existing building’s fabric as much as possible,” Simpson says. “Minimal interventions were made into the existing floors, walls, and roof structure, thereby allowing for a very efficient use of materials.” The family can be alone together in a house that has a long history of flexibility.