Home Renovations: May House, Malvern, Australia

When an architect designs a house with consideration and care, dwellings such as May House emerge. Taking a playful approach to colour and materiality, Neil Architecture reimagines a 1980s home as a relaxed, modern family residence.

Video timeline: 00:00 – The Local Project’s Print Publication 00:10 – Introduction to the House 00:45 – Complementary Design 01:01 – Exterior Renovations 02:03 – 1980s Materiality 03:12 – Landscape Architecture 04:09 – A House Made for Entertaining 04:42 – Timeliness Rejuvenation 05:17 – Subscribe to The Local Project’s Print Publication

When an architect designs a house, the design brief can often stipulate a complete renovation. However, Neil Architecture recognised the value of the original 1980s construction – settled into the leafy suburb of Malvern – and decided instead to complement the home with architectural additions.

To maintain the strong and simple form of the original structure, Neil Architecture covers the pre-existing truss with a perforated screen. Off-form concrete is used to create the carport, whilst a roughcast concrete render is applied to the fence – in doing so, the architect designs a house that interacts with the local built environment. As an architect designs a house, the intent can be expressed through the finer details of the scheme.

In May House, rusty red and green tones appear in the material palette, paying homage to the colours present in 1980s interior design. May House sees a 1980s residence both celebrated and reimagined, embraced and rejuvenated. Managing the external architecture and interior detail, the architect designs a house that is imbued with a sense of warmth and continuity; a house for the future that is inspired by the past.

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