Parkville Connect

Connect Parkville works to make a stately but outdated Victorian residence suitable for a family of five through an approach of “quiet architecture”.

Through planning and expression of the works we opted for small interventions to allow a re-organised internal zoning and flow, relationship to outdoors within the site, and street presence of appropriate confidence. Through pursuing our view of “architecture as background” (Hermann Czech) we add a layer over existing functional and physical conditions while upgrading urban fabric through preservation and a modest addition that’s notable yet respectful. Our responses to the clients’ brief were simple interventions to make cost-efficient, enduring design.

The interior as shell, formed by light and air, is not image driven but declares our intent of crafting a background. We opened up walls to improve internal flow, linked the brick buildings, and revealed new and existing works to sunlight, views, nature and ventilation. The exterior introduces a casual and nonprecious detailing: “layers of light” materials (timber and glass) over masonry. This glass screen façade is a mediation of two historic rigid buildings. We work to principles of “simple moves” and economy: no more, or less, than is necessary to achieve our program.

The project follows the ethos of our practice that pursues sustainability as the application of ‘analytic sense’ – that is providing an environment that is economic to build and easy to operate. Minimal interventions guarantee affordability and economic use of resources for construction. Re-purposing takes precedence over new building.

The building fabric follows passive solar design principles and is modelled to optimise solar control, by allowing solar gain in winter and provide shading in summer. Insulation, thermal mass, and cross ventilation are second nature in the design, planning and construction process. The experience of thermal comfort through operation rather than use of mechanical systems encourages what we advocate as ‘sustainable use’.

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