CARLTON TERRACE is Period Victorian at front; light, angular and dynamic at rear. The owners asked for a break from the past. A mature couple, with a large and extended family, looked forward to new spaces filled with natural light, all-year living, and the ability to connect visually with their surroundings.

Project Name: Carlton Terrace
Studio Name:
Carlton Terrace
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photography: Michael Kai
Project size: 167 m2
Site size: 159 m2
Project Budget: $510000
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 2

CarltonTerrace by Carlton Terrace - Sheet1
Living Room ©Michael Kai

Their terrace house sits within a long street of properties that fit tightly alongside each other. Almost all properties are narrow in width, and short in depth. The brief to include the standard “kitchen/ dining/ living”, together with an ambitious 4 bedrooms and 2 x bathrooms, created a challenge to fit all that was required within the small building

For Carlton Terrace we set out to explore contrasts in volume and texture.

CarltonTerrace by Carlton Terrace - Sheet2
Kitchen ©Michael Kai

Our approach was to first create a light, airy and open ground floor plane, with a bold volume above. At ground level, we outline a continuous space from the kitchen to the “green wall” externally. With the space being visually continuous inside and out, each side of the façade benefits from connection to the other side. In contrast, the upper level form was shaped by the briefed space requirements, rubbing up against the need for sunlight into the north facing windows of the adjacent property to the south.

CarltonTerrace by Carlton Terrace - Sheet3
Bedroom ©Michael Kai

The monolithic, upper level form is articulated with a fine patterning of neatly seamed flat locked panels. Contrast this with the delicate, but sharp, screen elements pinned off the façade by a neat gap. Internally, the main space is accentuated with ribbed walls on one side, and a smooth venetian render, inside and out, on the other.

Key Feature – The Screen:
Without resorting to frosted glass and a sill height above 1700mm, a large upper level window dominates the rear façade. The screen to the window serves the functional requirement of allowing long and short-range views from inside the main bedroom, and adds a lightness externally. The screen is made from a galvanised ladder frame, clad with single dot perforated flat plate aluminium. The aluminium is held off the main façade to add to the lightness to the otherwise bold volume.


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