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This renovation stays true to the home's 1920s origins on the interior and exterior


The design of a period renovation is shaped by several factors – the day-to-day living requirements of the clients, the need to create aesthetic connections to the existing structure, available site space and council regulations all play their part.

This is the third renovation to this 1920s home by architects Rosenthal, Munckton & Shields. First there was a restoration which transformed a shell into a house, then an upstairs study was added, and now a living room and vestibule have been introduced.

With a pool taking up half of the rear of the site, director Doug Shields says land limitations were an important influence on the design.

"We created a single-level addition with a gabled roof, to address height-boundary issues, and a linking vestibule, with a clerestory roof to bring in additional light," he says. "Maximum ground space was utilised and the room looks out onto the pool, with full-height glazed doors opening onto the poolside walkway."

In terms of materials, original hand-made Hawthorn bricks were matched and masonry sills and veranda posts echo similar features found in other areas of the residence.


From the inside, the vestibule provides a degree of separation between the new sunny living room and the nearby kitchen.

"Vestibules or landings were often a feature in turn-of-the-century homes, offering a visual breathing space as well as a practical connection," says Shields. "The clerestory roof adds drama to this area and admits natural light."

In the rather narrow living area, coffered ceilings link with similar elements elsewhere in the home and play up the sense of space.

"Period renovation involves subsuming modern functionality into an older aesthetic. Here, wine storage cupboards in the living room and a broom cupboard in the vestibule are disguised in the woodwork."

First published date: 27 May 2010

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Credit List

Architect Doug Shields, Rosenthal, Munckton & Shields (Melbourne)
Builder Koorool Constructions
Roofing Copper tray roof from Roof Services Company
Cladding Recycled black Hawthorn bricks
Doors and windows Timber, by Baker & Davies Joinery
Floors Stone from The Good House
Wall treatments Paint by Resene
Furnishings Roy's Antiques