The glass block outbuilding at Edinburgh Gardens stands as a testament to Baracco+Wright's commitment to innovative design, sensitivity to site-specific constraints, and their profound understanding of how architecture and landscape can coexist harmoniously.
Through the power of simple geometry and thoughtful sightlines, this architectural dialogue between the new and the old creates an alluring spatial narrative that captivates both residents and passers-by, weaving a story of harmonious coexistence within this tranquil urban retreat.
The Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North, Melbourne, have been graced with a unique architectural endeavor designed by the talented architects Louise Wright and Mauro Baracco of Baracco+Wright. The project stands as a testament to their design philosophy, celebrating fluid spatial conditions, uncomplicated geometries, and an integrated concept of architecture and landscape sharing space. Grounded in these guiding principles, the glass block outbuilding forms a compelling dialogue with the 1980s concrete block house designed by Ross Perrett, creating an enchanting new narrative within this urban oasis.
When the homeowners sought additional space for their growing family, the team at Baracco+Wright recognized that an extension to the original house would not do justice to its design excellence. Instead, they embarked on the concept of a separate structure that would not only cater to the practical needs of the family but also embrace the picturesque garden environment. This decision gave birth to the innovative glass block outbuilding, which would offer an exciting juxtaposition of architectural elements.
Located on the set-down clearing of a car park, the site presented various constraints and unique features that played a vital role in shaping the outbuilding's footprint. The peculiar "push-pull" nature of the site, extending deep to the south before kicking back diagonally to the north, influenced the form's curvature. Rather than conforming to the boundaries and tucking into a sharply angled pocket at the southern end, the architects chose a different path. The form gracefully curves at the corner, creating a sense of welcoming roundness that complements the surrounding landscape. This approach not only honors the existing raised garden bed and significant birch tree but also preserves vegetated sightlines that extend deep into the garden.
The design of the glass block outbuilding was meticulously conceived to establish a strong connection with both the original house and the garden. The triangular floor plan, characterized by one curved and two pointed corners, symbolizes the architects' commitment to simple geometries and spatial experimentation. This thoughtful arrangement harmoniously bridges the gap between the garden and the existing house. As the apex of the triangle gently dips into the garden space, it becomes a captivating focal point, visible from the rear window of the house. This architectural playfulness breathes new life into the site, enhancing the inhabitants' experience and offering them an enchanting view of their green sanctuary.
Project was originally published in Local Project, Issue 12.