Nestled in a diverse neighbourhood pocket in Albert Park, the original building was a dilapidated doublefronted
Victorian book-ended by a double-storey terrace house on its south side. As a heritage listed
building, it was imperative to rescue the front of house which was in a severe state of disrepair.
The subject site is modestly sized and triangular in shape with previous alterations that were clustered
in an inefficient, ad-hoc fashion. The goal was to retain and restore the existing front of house whilst
improving the flow and functionality of the old & new wings of the dwelling.
The facade treatment of the new addition drew inspiration from the houses in the neighbourhood.
Referencing triangular shapes in the external batten screen celebrates the pitched roofs of old Victorian
houses. This batten screen not only presents a clear external graphic to the laneway but also functions as
a privacy screen. Polycarbonate walls on the internal face of the upstairs living spaces allows daylight into
the rooms. During the day, soft daylight illuminates the elevated living spaces and when the sun sets, they
become lanterns under the night sky.
The irregularly-shaped site also allowed us to introduce of a “shared garden” at street level; a departure
from the harsh treatment along the laneway as evident by many other corner allotments in the area.
Despite the house’s small footprint, this effort was made to ensure that a part of the house could be
shared with the community.
Downside Up House is the result of not compromising light, space and quality of living whilst not being
able to fulfill a typical “rear-ground-level-extension-facing-a-backyard” approach.