Landlocked among the gentrified lanes of East Melbourne is this two-bedroom home, whose combined living room and kitchen are divided by an entry lobby running between an original Victorian building and a fifties extension. The challenge was to add two studies and renovate the mismatched buildings to create an homogeneous living environment.

Site restrictions led to one study being located off the living room, and the other in a new extension above the kitchen. This solution gave us the opportunity to give the lobby a double-height ceiling that links the two existing buildings, and offers a welcoming transition into the walled courtyard.

The living room was created from a previously very dark space given over to a kitchenette and separate bathroom. Although it remains windowless, we have brought in natural light using a room-width concealed skylight. The large-block herringbone parquetry floor was installed for its warmth and suitability.

Across the entrance lobby, the original 50s living room with its existing terrazzo floor has been converted to a very clean, sophisticated kitchen/dining area. The stair to the first floor study leads up behind the kitchen wall. Both studies look out into the lobby area, and one has a view into the garden courtyard.

Completed 2003.

(We have since been engaged by the new owners to update the home with a new bathroom and 5 star energy rating.)