Villa Italia

A sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion fam­i­ly home, Vil­la Italia is a ren­o­va­tion and exten­sion to a clas­sic sin­gle front­ed Vic­to­ri­an ter­race locat­ed in Brunswick East. 

Respond­ing to the exist­ing urban den­si­ty, the home unfolds behind a nar­row 4.5‑metre façade. While the project incor­po­rates an addi­tion­al lev­el, it is vast­ly obscured behind the gable and chim­ney, so the orig­i­nal­i­ty of the his­toric façade is main­tained. The façade has been sand­blast­ed to reveal the exist­ing mason­ry cel­e­brat­ing its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter. Con­tem­po­rary details were select­ed to bring out the sense of time includ­ing a repur­posed Roman­ian met­al fence, fea­ture door and rough stone paving.

The mass of the build­ing is care­ful­ly bro­ken up to bring light through all sides of the build­ing employ­ing a series of mod­est ter­races and sky­lights as well as fil­ter­ing through the cen­tral stair.

Care­ful­ly curat­ing an open plan, the inte­ri­ors respond to the site con­straints by cre­at­ing a series of cus­tom ele­ments with mul­ti­ple func­tions. Var­i­ous seat­ing and din­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions have been com­posed to accom­mo­date host­ing gath­er­ings with the clients’ large Ital­ian fam­i­ly. For instance, the ban­quette used for din­ing dou­bles as soft seat­ing for the liv­ing area.

Appro­pri­ate for a home with a sense of time, the sophis­ti­cat­ed mate­ri­als palette ref­er­ences the pati­na of an arche­typ­al Ital­ian vil­lage lay­er­ing fres­co fin­ish­es on the walls, bespoke uphol­stery, tex­tured stonework and par­quet tim­ber floor­ing. Moments of colour are incor­po­rat­ed through the inte­ri­ors to cre­ate a mosa­ic of qual­i­ties in com­plex tones of emer­ald, aqua­ma­rine and lapis.

The cus­tom join­ery is used to cre­ate con­tain­ment and inti­ma­cy in the open-plan as well as to high­light the clien­t’s col­lec­tions. Fine detail­ing such as rose gold shad­ow lines and recessed smoked mir­ror­ing cre­ate a sub­tle sense of glamour. 

Draw­ing on the clients’ her­itage, the redesign is guid­ed by qual­i­ties often asso­ci­at­ed with Ital­ian brands: fine crafts­man­ship, sophis­ti­ca­tion, ele­gance, and a touch of luxury.

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