Hecker Guthrie Federation Style

The client brief for this Melbourne home was to create a modern extension for the back of the property while maintaining the federation style of the home front, architects Hecker Guthrie were charged with this task. As a starting point the federation elements of the home were further developed with new strapping details to the walls and ceilings, high skirtings, new ceiling roses and re-furbishing the ornate fireplaces. The new wide board timber flooring in a warm American oak and fitted joinery units to the study mirroring the wall strapping detail, all contributed to give the front old section of the house a new lease of life and retained the old world charm but with a modern look.

The new back section of the house with its very modern shape and profile required a certain sensitivity to allow both spaces to work together. The flooring material transitioned from a timber floor board in the old section of the home to large Spanish Seville stone slabs. This stone was then customised to be incorporated into the kitchen island bench and table. Open plan living was important to the client in this section to enable their smaller children to interact with the parents when in the living, dining or kitchen. Other modern finishes to the first floor include in the bathrooms white stone slabs on the walls and joinery, stone sculptured basin on stone trays and powder coated coloured tap ware.

Inspiration images presented to the client came from modernist designers such as Ilse Crawford and John Pawson who work with classic design but in a purist contemporary manner, as well as Italian sculptured stone interiors and buildings to reflect the organic shape of the new part of the house designed by the architect.

The seamless connection from the front old part of the house and the new modernist rear was integral to this projects design aesthetic. The strapping to the walls and ceilings gives character to the old front part of the home, and the Seville stone to the rear part of the house flooring with the island bench and table growing out of this gives a dramatic focal point to the double void above.