Architect’s own Northcote home filled with Australian character
A Melbourne architect has transformed an old and dated home into a sustainable family haven.
Urban designer Orlando Harrison and his family were looking to scratch their “renovation itch” and found the perfect place at 28 Thames St, Northcote.
A full renovation and extension later, the circa-1930s home is set to sell for $1.95-$2.1 million.
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Mr Harrison said they kept some of the original details but brought in character from the area.
“When we pulled out the carpets we found old newspapers with stories about Phar Lap and Don Bradman,” Mr Harrison said.
“We picked up timber from the old Northcote Bowls Centre and used it for a bench in our living room.
“And timber boards were recycled from the Williamstown pier.
“It was a home that had been changed along the way so we brought the Northcote character to it.”
Beyond the blue picket fence and lush garden is the weatherboard facade.
Next to the entrance are two modern bedrooms and a family room or third bedroom.
Past the central study nook is the open-plan dining zone and contemporary kitchen with Miele appliances.
The living area opens with sliding doors to the passive solar garden.
Features include hydronic heating, evaporative cooling, double glazing, 1.65kw solar panels and water tanks.
Mr Harrison said he was attracted to the rundown home with beautiful fig and lemon trees outside.
“We kept the front rooms of the house, added the passively designed living areas as well as the upstairs section,” he said.
“We also designed around the courtyard so light comes flooding through.
“The living room opens to the green oasis of a garden and the eaves let the winter sun in and the summer sun out.’
Nelson Alexander Northcote agent Tom Alexiadis said the house was one that everybody wanted to put together.
“Most renovations in the area have big boxes, porcelain tiles and a bit of glitz to it,” Mr Alexiadis said.
“But this one is all about the light, natural materials and energy efficiency.
It has a really cool feel to it and is in the Northcote High School zone.”
Mr Harrison said he and his family were starting a new renovation project.
“We spotted a daggy home with a lot of character in Alphington that we’ll fix up,” Mr Harrison said.
“We’re excited to do it all again but we are sad to leave the house we love.”
The property last sold for $870,000 in 2010, according to CoreLogic.
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