Greeves Street House, Fitzroy

The design of extensions on small inner city lots often forces experimentation with unconventional configurations. In the Greeves Street House, a unique solution was found out of a need for a ground floor parking space and courtyard, and a light filled first floor master bedroom with a northern aspect. The new room is cantilevered over the ground floor footprint and looks out across a landscape of Fitzroy rooftops.

This strategy has allowed the floorplan and roof of the existing double-fronted Victorian home to be left intact and rigorously restored. The sense of discovery that comes with buildings behind buildings is common to the context. Here the extension can be found in a laneway, its zinc cladding a gleaming counterpoint to the beige brickwork of the neighbouring building.

The ground floor courtyard is sheltered by the building in plan and section creating an intimate outdoor space for gathering. Internally an unusual double-height space was developed to connect a carefully detailed glass staircase, which maximizes transparency and refracts light, to the first floor above. Retractable stainless-steel mesh blinds to the fully glazed windows provide privacy and protection from the sun, while adding another layer of detail and fineness to the composition.