May 10, 2012

Simplicity & Integrity :: the Victorian Terrace of an architectural duo

This is the terrace home of Stephen O'Connor and Annick Houle,
the life + work duo from O'Connor + Houle Architecture,
perhaps best known around this town for their work
on the quietly atmospheric Heide Museum of Modern Art.
And because their home is on the market,
we can take a peek inside.

But before we step inside,
let's just go back to the front gate.
Because in this carefully balanced composition,
the word calm springs to mind.
Far from the business which a Victorian terrace can have,
this restrained & muted palette,
with the stillness of the cloud topiary,
suggests that this home will be a restful one.
And it is.
Satin finished timbers,
with an emphasis on texture, not colour,
speak of a living room which is home to a family
who value their home as a place of repose and retreat.
It's very much a 19th century terrace,
with high ceilings, generous skirtings & cornices,
but rather than feeling "modernised" it feels more distilled,
as if the home has just evolved with modern family life over the decades.
(For example, look at the fringing on the rug.
If it had a crisp, hard modern bound edge 
it would contrast with the age of the building. 
Instead, it gently references it. 
The fringe is of course unnecessary,
just as the intricate ceiling plaster rose is: it has no practical function.
Yet they both add a layer of detail, 
which adds to the richness of the space.)
So what do you think?
Is it a home which has retained the integrity of the original architecture,
but melded that essence with today's love of light
and more simple ornament?

And would you love to live here?

property location :: 48 st vincent place north, albert park, melbourne
agents details + images :: marshall white
verandah & armoire images :: o'connor + houle architecture

17 comments:

  1. Wow - 'integrity' is the key word here isn't it? It is so beautifully dressed but also looks like a warm, liveable home. Loved your commentary - you are so right about that rug! Annie x.

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    1. Yes I think it is very much a liveable home too, Annie. Nothing too precious.

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  2. It's all too beautiful for words but those toadstools and mosaic tiles on the veranda - I need those! Would I love to live there? yes, in a heartbeat.

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    1. And did you see a couple of the toadstools in the hearth in the dining room too Joy? Too fun!

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  3. Love the front door + greenery in the front yard <3

    Not sure about the "antennas" above the bed in the white bedroom though :)

    B

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    1. Oh, now I can't look at that bedroom the same way! Keep giggling about the lamps coming to life and zooming all around on their antenna arms. hehe!

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  4. Almost nothing I love has a practical function I cannot live without them.
    This home is so calming to me, I love it.
    xx's

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    1. Except that seeing beauty, and the feeling which that evokes, is in itself a practical function, perhaps Marsha?

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  5. So, so beautiful. Loving the colour of the front door

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    Replies
    1. The most fabulous pale blue, isn't it?

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  6. Very cool blog! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I want a house like this - ohh so wonderful,
    Axx

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  8. I came across your very interesting post. I think I like it! Love that blue door!

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  9. Wonderful post...those mushrooms in pic#5....wow.......k

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  10. I love the bathroom and that blue door!

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  11. Virginia,
    love the kitchen and the outdoors images, both perfect.
    The brick facade is wonderful.
    Have a blessed weekend.
    Tereza

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  12. amazing home, seriously in love with this one! xx

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