Project: Ruckers Hill House
Architects: Studio Bright
Project team: Melissa Bright, Robert McIntyre, Todd de Hoog, Emily Watson, Pei She Lee, Maia Close
Builder: 4AD Constructions
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photographs: Rory Gardiner
Text by Studio Bright
A prominent, corner sited Edwardian on the crest of Ruckers Hill, has been restored and enlarged with new living spaces in a separate rear-garden pavilion. Pushing the new addition to the back of this site allows a sun-filled pool and garden, and a streetscape expression akin to a garden pavilion; contemporary and street-tough, but a little bit Edwardian in spirit.
The new pavilion expands the nuanced living possibilities. Rooms are configured for the specialised interests of particular family members, yet each offers scope for temporal adaptations on the fly. For example, the living room is a music space with a heavy curtain ready to be drawn across to present impromptu theatre, steps forming the stage edge. On the upper floor, two multipurpose spaces house a library, lounge, guest room and study.
“Ruckers Hill House is the architectural equivalent of comfort food – the new pavilion expands the nuanced living possibilities,” said the studio.
The link that allows this rearward displacement spans the site bridge-like, almost an inverted Roman aqueduct with its water at the bottom. Its spatial use is unclear yet full of possibility: poolside chaise, veranda to a garden, even at times an indoor cricket pitch. To the long side-street edge, new stepped levels help mediate the street, working the balance between defending internal privacy and yet sharing inner workings and the pleasures of the spilling-over garden.