Following the statement “architecture as background”, Steffen Welsch Architects renovated a Victorian house in Melbourne, linking two brick buildings with transparent layers of glass.
Connect Parkville is a renovation project by Steffen Welsch Architects where a Victorian residence for a family of five has been re-organized with an approach defined as “quiet architecture”.
The architects 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 defined as “layers of light” with materials such as timber and glass over masonry. The glass screen facade sits between two historic rigid buildings.
The architects have taken the idea of layering literally. The accommodation, domestic activities, outdoor activities and storage called for new spaces, new connectivity and a skin. Surrounded by solid masonry walls, the new roof was lifted, split and extended.
The new walls showcase multiple skins, while the main facade is screened with obscure glass to express ambiguity. From the street the new addition appears transparent and the extension seems to float. The sun light penetrates the building twice: through skylights into the dining space, continuing to the outside through the glass door.