Angelucci Architects’ Nido II project is located in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton North. The client was also the builder, and the project marked their family’s return to the part of the city where their grandparents had lived following their emigration from Italy. Incorporating the revision and extension of an original Victorian structure dating back to 1885, Nido II is a series of flexible living spaces with a basement, a courtyard and balconies, and enough space to accommodate a family of six – an urban nest for its owners. 

A Melbourne house that’s an urban nest

Main living room, Nido II, Melbourne house by Angelucci Architects is an urban nest

‘Nido’ is Italian for ‘nest’, and the project’s careful blend of spaces, different material finishes, and familial togetherness makes it an apt name.

The plan rearranges the long, linear site behind the original façade, and the house has been designed to ensure each level retains a connection to the outside. A central courtyard anchors the main living area, while a large roof deck opens off the first floor, where two children’s bedrooms and a bathroom are located. This top floor has built-in bunk beds and storage, as well as views across the rooftops. 

Upstairs bedroom, Nido II, Melbourne house by Angelucci Architects that is an urban nest

All rooms have generous ceiling heights, and the linearity of the site is broken up by the use of curved timber slatted walls and large areas of glazing. The kitchen overlooks the courtyard with glazing positioned to create a long view up the stairs to the children’s rooms. A curved kitchen table and banquette provides ample space for family gatherings. The courtyard glazing can be opened up to the elements when the weather allows.

Furthermore, a family bathroom is set behind the curved timber wall in the living room, behind which lies a sunken bath by Agape.

Secondary entrance, Nido II, Melbourne hosue by Angelucci Architects, an urban nest

A secondary entrance, with its distinctive arched doorway, gives the ground-floor living space extra flexibility, while the curved Welsh slate tiles that are hung on the exterior walls and roofs are a playful contrast to the combination of new and original brick. Downstairs, a cave-like basement houses a wine store as well as a utility area and indoor playroom, complete with black chalkboard walls. The parents have their own bedroom and en-suite at the front of the house, set apart from the more open-plan family spaces. 

As one would expect from a house built by its owner, there are very high levels of craft and quality of finish at every turn. With terrazzo concrete floors, traditional Venetian plastering, and hand-cut slates, as well as Australian and Japanese handmade tiles in the courtyard and bathrooms, the house creates its own richly textured world. §

Roof terrace, Nido II House, Melbourne house by Angelucci Architects, an urban nest
 
Internal courtyard, Nido II House, Melbourne by Angelucci Architects

 

Kitchen details, Nido II House, Melbourne by Angelucci Architects

 

Main staircase, Nido II House, Melbourne by Angelucci Architects

 

The kitchen, seen from the courtyard, Nido II House, Melbourne by Angelucci Architects

 

Upstairs shower, Nido II House, Melbourne by Angelucci Architects