This double fronted Victorian in North Fitzroy has a north-south block. Bedrooms at the front enjoy light and warmth; southern living rooms are dark and cold. Our brief was to bring in sunlight and expand the home. We needed to find the right balance between internal and external in restricted space.

Project Name: Inner city downsize
Studio Name:
Steffen Welsch Architects
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photography: Shannon McGrath
Completion date: 2016

Inner city downsize by Steffen Welsch Architects - Sheet1
Living Room ©Shannon McGrath

The home features three bedrooms and a bathroom in the existing home, and a new open plan kitchen, dining and living room in a rear extension. This new space features carefully placed apertures, introducing divergent light qualities and vistas and a special complexity – an element of surprise to the home. The obvious solution would have been a fully glazed structure – this home illustrates our resolve to push design further.

Inner city downsize by Steffen Welsch Architects - Sheet2
Kitchen ©Shannon McGrath

Clerestory double glazed windows over the new living areas draw in northern light through winter. A recycled brick freestanding fireplace provides warmth. Eaves and a retractable awning over the courtyard shut out summer glare. High set operable windows evacuate heat.

Inner city downsize by Steffen Welsch Architects - Sheet3
Courtyard ©Shannon McGrathv

Wall to wall cabinetry with timber-clad feature shelving provides ample storage, while a refined palette of timber, charcoal stone tiles and white wash walls provide a fresh aesthetic for the renewed home.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.