Turn House

Turn House is the result of rigorous briefing and design testing, context analysis and thorough team collaboration. Located on a rear laneway of North Fitzroy, the extension of this early 1900’s Victorian Terrace complements the former mixed use residential and industrial area. Exemplified through features such as black steel framework, brickwork and bluestone, the single storey response of this overhaul remains authentic in character and context.

A curve in the rear laneway and title boundary is celebrated with black brickwork with a playfulness at the curve, repeating patterns within the existing environment. The wall addresses the brief for a low maintenance, acoustically robust, and graffiti tolerant treatment to the public laneway. Designed insitu and in consultation with the structural engineer and bricklayer, the brickwork is expressed internally with contrasting white bricks, responding to the requirement for light filled spaces. The curve becomes a theme in the new works, from archways to the bulkhead of the operable clerestory windows. The curve also maximises the internal space and allows a graceful end to the stainless steel benchtop.
The modesty in size is complimented with a palette of quality finishes. Period archways, heated slab, European Oak, steel framed windows, brass detailing and Aristo Gold marble defines spaces without physical boundaries. Efficiency and functionality are the focus of the internal fit-out having consulted with nominated contractors including the cabinet maker and steel window fabricators. The galley style kitchen contrasts with a highly practical stainless steel kitchen to the south, contrasting with a combination of European Oak and marble pâtissier’s working surface facing the northern courtyard. The living area is softer with European Oak surfaces and brass details such as the shelving supports. The lighting design transitions from practical in the kitchen to ambient in the living area, with a single drop pendant within the bulkhead and soft long fall of a linen curtain.

The courtyard is located to the north allowing a 4.5m high façade of steel framed double glazing at the perimeter of the extension, dropping back to a ceiling height of 3.2m for greater intimacy within the kitchen and living rooms. The clerestory windows are operable, providing good cross ventilation and controllable light with recessed pelmets for blinds. The slab is heated providing comfort throughout the cooler months.
Located on 162m2 of land, the brief of the Turn House has a meticulous focus on technology. The collaborative working relationship with the owners ensured a highly customised approach. A checklist of appliances and their dimensions, including a sous vide machine, coffee machine and wine storage are all incorporated into the cabinetry. Given the small site, the brief was to maximise storage without excess; the manifest for Turn House was comprehensive.

Rebecca Naughtin and her team have applied their skills to overhaul this home with impeccable detailing and attention to customer service. As the office’s first foray into BIM, Turn House exemplifies function and form without loss of character. A sanctuary for entertaining, this low maintenance home has been transformed with precision and passion.

Photography: Daniel Fuge