Urquhart House

Urquhart House

Additions and alterations to an Arts and Crafts heritage home.

Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri People
Builder: Greg Scott Constructions
Photography: Derek Swalwell

Habitus - Issue 36, June - August 2017

This alterations and additions project derives impetus from a heritage overlay which is quite specific and seeks to preserve a particular type of house, of which this is one.  The heritage constraint dovetails with a preoccupation of Kennedy Nolan, the Arts and Crafts and its philosophical and aesthetic characteristics.

Our approach to this project is informed by the philosophical and aesthetic characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement.  This is expressed quite simply by the picturesque approach to planning and form whereby habitation and room functions are apparent in the architecture.  On a more philosophical level the Arts and Crafts period is of particular interest to our practice because it is a precursor to modernism.  This is evident in the pursuit of utility, expression of function, inherent ornamentation and challenge to established modes of habitation. In our projects we aim to deploy these precepts and to emphasise this through the construction and fabric of the building, principally through exploiting the crafts of building to provide decoration, warmth, texture and a sense of the domestic. Here, the building crafts used are rough-cast render, detailed carpentry, shingles, tiling, metal-work and joinery where the craft of the trades is evident through expressive design which highlight the hand-made qualities.  Colour is used to emphasise a narrative experience, a journey through the house where intensity and nuance is added to threshold, zoning and use.  Ultimately, all architectural decisions are made to support a rich domestic experience.