Inside A Modern Brick House Design by An Award-Winning Architect (House Tour)

The revitalisation of this heritage brick house by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design was grounded on the ethos of changing as much as necessary but as little as possible. Located in the eclectic neighbourhood of South Yarra in Melbourne, William Tappin House depicts the sensitive layering of a historical footprint with contemporary innovation.

Originally designed and occupied by its namesake, William Tappin – a renowned Queen Anne-style architect – the connection between old and new was something the architect wanted to handle sensitively, and this influenced the positioning of the building on site. The existing structure is restored to remain the hero, whilst the new addition is recessive and humble in design.

Restorations include revealing the original brickwork and limestone, restoring the existing verandah and carved wooden features. Exposed details, such as the fingerprints of makers on the tiles and original brick, become a symbol of the heritage façade of this home. New additions are highly sensitive to the brick home’s foundation. The rear addition is constructed from limed timber and off-form concrete that calls back to the tonality of the limestone and basalt detailing of the original structure. Terracotta tiles also wrap the faceted roofscape in an ode to the bespoke red brick.

What the house tour shows is a strong connection between inside and out, which prevails throughout the home. The entire ground floor, which contains the kitchen and living areas, opens to the exterior, with views extending all the way out to the garden and beyond – made even more accessible through sliding glazed doors. Alfresco areas are also abundant, cocooned by a roofline that acts as a protective shell, creating vignettes that see an interplay of zoning and elevation through the use of tile, timber and brick. Flanked by carefully placed terracotta, the sculptural form of the exterior employs a ventilated, drained and fully membraned roof and wall system.

The resulting home and its interiors offer the ultimate family sanctuary. Anchored and inspired by the residence’s roots, William Tappin House, whilst modern, is interpretive of the old – a sensitive metamorphosis.

00:00 – Intro to the Modern Brick House
00:32 – The Location of the Home
00:49 – William Tappin and His Designs
01:05 – Handling the Connection Between Old and New
02:01 – Requirements of the Brief
02:25 – The Interpretation of Arts & Crafts
03:07 – Behind the Kitchen Design
03:30 – A Walkthrough of the Upstairs
04:18 – The Architect’s Proud Moments

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Photography by Tom Ross.
Architecture, Interior Design and Styling by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design.
Build by Bacchus Constructions.
Landscape by Eckersley Garden Architecture.
Engineering by Meyer Consulting.
Videography by Dan Preston.
Production by The Local Project.

The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of First Nations peoples in the identity of our country and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations people of these lands.

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