Connect Parkville works to make a stately but outdated Victorian residence suitable for a family of five through an approach of “quiet architecture”.
Through planning and expression of the works we opted for small interventions to allow a re-organised internal zoning and flow, relationship to outdoors within the site, and street presence of appropriate confidence. Through pursuing our view of “architecture as background” (Hermann Czech) we add a layer over existing functional and physical conditions while upgrading urban fabric through preservation and a modest addition that’s notable yet respectful. Our responses to the clients’ brief were simple interventions to make cost-efficient, enduring design. The interior as shell, formed by light and air, is not image driven but declares our intent of crafting a background. We opened up walls to improve internal flow, linked the brick buildings, and revealed new and existing works to sunlight, views, nature and ventilation. The exterior introduces a casual and nonprecious detailing: “layers of light” materials (timber and glass) over masonry. This glass screen façade is a mediation of two historic rigid buildings. We work to principles of “simple moves” and economy: no more, or less, than is necessary to achieve our program.