The Garden House project in Fitzroy North is a modest renovation and studio project on a single-fronted duplex. This project is the third in this particular street and is in walking distance from our office and a thriving community.

The original house was an Edwardian cottage, most likely built in the 1920s. It was soundly built, which meant that the front section required only maintenance works and minor refurbishment. Most of this was handled by the owner, while DIMASE ARCHITECTS provided advice and contacts as needed.

The main element of our proposal included an elegant and lofty dining area, with a polished concrete floor and lighting. This space opened up the house and connected the existing rooms to the garden, studio and northern aspect of the property. The main roof of the extension was carried beyond the line of the dining area to shelter an outdoor eating area. The roof frames the view to the outside from the dining area, as well as shielding the house from direct sunlight in summer. The rear part of the house was remodelled to provide a laundry, bathroom and kitchen.

An important part of this project is a small studio for working and hobby activities. The architecture of this building was carefully designed to maximise sunlight to the garden, which is integral to the project. It was meticulously designed and managed by Jackie McWilliam of Avantgardener, and it is stunning. While the renovation provides all the creature comforts of a modern, inner-city dwelling, it is the garden that sustains the owner’s sense of wellbeing and delight – a real haven that will bring countless years of enjoyment.

The transformation of this house in inner-city Melbourne has proven to be invaluable. It may well have been a modest renovation, but it was carefully conceived and well executed. During the recent lockdown periods its value and amenity have been appreciated by the owner. It has provided a workplace, home and garden – making staying at home less stressful and more enjoyable.

This house in inner city Melbourne has proven to be valuable – it may well be a modest renovation – but it was carefully conceived and well executed. During the recent lockdown periods its value and amenity has been appreciated by the owner. It has provided a workplace, home and garden – meaning staying at home is less stressful and more enjoyable. The house is light, connected to a thriving community and its garden will bring countless times of enjoyment.

Garden House

  • Year: 2020
  • Location: Fitzroy North
  • Photos: Katya Menshikova