Rob Kennon Architects redesign a Queen Anne home in Melbourne, guided by the founding principles of the Arts and Craft movement.

Late Melbourne architect Christopher Cowper is known for his prolific portfolio of Queen Anne style houses, designed in the early 20th century and characterised by their Tuscan columns and tall chimneys. Rob Kennon Architects took on the opportunity of reviving one of these original double-storey brick homes, threaded with influences from the Arts and Craft movement – natural materials, a relationship with the outdoors and an emphasis on craftsmanship through exposed structural elements. These key characteristics informed Rob Kennon Architects’ architectural intervention, where a newfound connection to the outdoors is forged through considered cuts, subtractions and a glazed rear extension.

The home gets its name from the concrete waffle ceiling in the kitchen and living space, tapping into one of the most distinguishing features of the Arts and Craft movement: structural authenticity through exposed ceiling beams and rafters. This ‘waffle’ concept stemmed from the sturdiness and original grid strapping on the existing ceiling, punctuated by staggered recessed skylights that draw the eye upwards and inject considered light flow into the home.

Materials throughout the home were selected for their inherent simplicity and durability, like the streamlined grey bricks, solid timber panelling and general-purpose concrete. American Oak wall panels form the crux of the redesign, cultivating warmth in the home’s central hub and creating a striking contrast between the concrete flooring and ceiling. In the kitchen, you’ll find a feast of gold tones in the striking brass-clad island bench, brass tap and the Rakumba Highline pendant.

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Rob Kennon Architects designed a glass-walled structure to the rear of the building to house the sunken dining room, separated from the rest of the home, so you feel as though you’re in the garden when dining. 

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Rob Kennon Architects introduced a glass-walled structure to the rear of the building to house the designated sunken dining room. Instead of combining the dining zone with the kitchen and living spaces, the architects made the conscious choice to keep both separate to heighten the act of dining. This secluded room immerses you in the lush garden, designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture.

The Waffle House by Rob Kennon Architects prioritises natural materials and quality craftsmanship over superfluous detail, ensuing a contemporary family home with an equal balance of indoor and outdoor, light and dark and old and new.

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