Explore seven Melbourne heritage homes where steel framing creates a seamless transition between classic and contemporary dialogues.

Steel framing is a staple feature when it comes to heritage alterations and additions in Australia. Opening a home up to light and greenery,  steel-framed doors and windows are a classic, clean-lined alternative for connecting old and new. Unlike timber window frames, steel is also weather, fire and decay-resistant and requires no maintenance. In this edit, we step inside seven homes where steel framing is an integral part of their revival. 

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Casa Atrio by Biasol

Translating to ‘atrium house’, Casa Atrio by Biasol calls on its ornate facade inside through a Parisian-inspired interior scheme; chocolate herringbone flooring, gold fixtures, traditional wainscoting and classic marble. To address the lack of light terraces are known for, Biasol inserted skylights and introduced a glass atrium in the centre of the home that provides views between the kitchen and staircase to the children’s bedroom upstairs. This atrium is encased by steel-framed doors, reminiscent of projects by European designers David Thulstrup and Hans Verstuyft. 

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Armadale House by Studio Tate

Studio Tate’s Armadale Residence II sees the reincarnation of a turn-of-the-century red brick house into a considered and contemporary home for a growing family. The original home has been left intact and contains the kitchen and dining space, while a new glazed walkway connects the old home to the former saddle room – now a living room – allowing the two most-used areas to breathe. The living room connects to the garden through black steel-frame French doors, chosen for their sympathetic yet contemporary appeal.

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Church House by Doherty Design Studio

Doherty Design Studio’s redesign of this 1920 church in Hawthorn, Melbourne, is centred around the building’s stained glass windows, which the design firm responded to with an eclectic, playful approach. One of the requirements high on the client’s list was an outdoor bath on the terrace. Steel Window Design custom-designed a single sliding steel-framed door in a white powder-coated finish in this space to create a soft transition between inside and out.

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Prahran House by Dita Studio

Dita Studio’s Prahran House combines heritage charm with streamlined, contemporary interiors. Before Dita Studio’s intervention, the inner-city Melbourne home was left untouched for more than 40 years, so the architraves and ceiling details were perfectly intact. Dita Studio deliberately preserved these assets to maintain a significant shift between the old home and its modern rear counterpart – a boxy extension with black steel-frame bi-fold doors opening to a small courtyard. These bi-fold doors not only save space but inject natural light into the once-dark period home.

Toorak House by Lucy Bock Design Studio

Toorak House by Lucy Bock sees a bold and bespoke alteration and addition to a 1930s home in one of Melbourne’s most sought after suburbs. Inside, the monochromatic palette is punctuated by jewel tones, such as deep purple and navy velvet, celebrating the colour and materiality palette of its Art Deco inception. Positioned among the treetops, the open-plan living and dining space enjoy views over the tree-lined streets and manicured garden through black steel-frame French doors by Steel Window Design with a custom kick-panel design.

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Dutch Gable House by Austin Design Associates

This Brighton home by Austin Design Associates originally comprised a series of architectural styles, including Edwardian and Dutch Renaissance, with the addition of a 1980s rear pavilion that recreated the home’s Dutch gable facade. To bring this home into the present day, Austin Design Associates opted to utilise the pavilion as a kitchen and butler’s pantry with floor-to-ceiling steel-framed windows that open up onto the north-facing deck.

SAR Residence by Mim Design

Mim Design lifted cues from traditional Japanese design in their SAR Residence; a reimagined Victorian-era family home in Melbourne’s historic South Yarra neighbourhood. Shaped around a central courtyard and framed with floor-to-ceiling steel frame windows and doors, Mim Design were inspired by traditional Shoji screens and a connection to the natural environment embedded in Japanese design. A timeless palette of white, cool-grey and navy tones comes to the fore in the heritage home, anchored by aged-bronze tapware, terrazzo and natural marble. 

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