Feng Shui guides the design of this Melbourne house extension
Steffen Welsch Architects creates house extension and renovation in Melbourne guided by the principles of the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui
The interior spaces of this intensive makeover by Steffen Welsch Architects in Melbourne are all about creating a sense of flow. The architects describe their understanding of the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui as a way of making sense of the elements that balance an interior.
‘There is a surprising correlation between Feng Shui and what we would call "good design",’ the architects write, ‘sunlight access, air and ventilation, balance of natural light, equal relationship between inside and out, comfort and privacy, balance of materials, and a well-organised environment.’
Starting with a traditional semi-detached house on a long, narrow slot, the brief called for a new extension that added bedrooms and created a large kitchen and living/dining area. A courtyard separates old from new, helping bring light and air deep into the plan, while the new addition is gradually unveiled as you walk through into the heart of the house.
A new study area forms part of a wide central corridor, beyond which is a curved wooden wall that conceals a storage area. At this point, the Feng Shui house opens up to a generous main living space, with kitchen, dining area and sitting area leading out to a deck and the garden beyond.
The central staircase is given a crucial role, both as sculptural focus and source of daylight. It rises out of the family zone in a series of bold curves, with Barraganesque flashes of colour revealing themselves as the planes twist and turn. Surface materials also shift throughout the space, with the dining room timber floor reflected in the wood clad ceiling of the sitting area, giving it a detached, cocoon-like calmness between inside and outside and the folds in the new roof creating a covered balcony and planting area.
‘Build less, accomplish more,’ was one of the driving forces behind this project; big ambitions were certainly achieved. §