Nic Owen Architects

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Nic Owen Architects
911 Rathdowne Street CARLTON NORTH VIC 3054 Australia

Architects are a young design focused architectural team located in the heart of Carlton, Victoria. The team are committed to creating architecture that is a joy to inhabit through the treatment of space, form, materials and light. The practice specialises in residential architecture, which responds to each individual site and environment, creating unique and elegant forms that contribute to the wider community and make a difference to our visual landscape.

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Carlton House

Carlton, 2009

This project comprises an addition to the rear of an existing Victorian terrace in Carlton, on a small 97sqm site. The use of stacked concrete blocks for the addition connects the new building to the cobblestones seen in the laneways that wrap around the site, as well as the bluestone base of the existing cottage. The material palette has been limited to concrete, a ribbon of form-ply that grounds the house while discreetly hiding the garage door, vertical spotted gum timber cladding and black aluminium frames for windows and doors. Critical to the brief was the ability to accommodate more private living space, reducing noise in the existing building and incorporating a multi-purpose room that could double as a garage or second living room in the future. In a further effort to use all available space, the roof space in the existing house was fitted out to create an artist’s studio. This is accessed through a large access hatch, carefully concealed in the existing roof line, entered by climbing a set of sculptural steps crafted from the same form-ply used to clad the addition. This plywood has also been used to create planter boxes on the north facing balcony.

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Fitzroy North House

Fitzroy North, 2010

The owners of the small Victorian terrace approached the architects with a brief to create a larger house with a bright and airy feel to cater for their growing family. The renovation is located on a small site in North Fitzroy with tight planning and heritage controls and a challenging orientation. A modern glass structure wrapped in a timber skin formed the shell of the extension providing light and vertical space whilst maintaining the south neighbour’s access to light. New works are recessive, respectful and complement the historic setting. Full height windows with fixed metal blades on the north laneway provide privacy from within and allow winter sunlight to enter through an open glass and timber stairwell. Large skylights add to the sense of space and light. North facing roofs accommodate photo-voltaic cells and solar hot water panels, and plantation timbers have been used throughout. This three bedroom inner city residence on a small site offers a sympathetic response to historically sensitive inner-city living.

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Clifton Hill House

Clifton Hill, 2008

This project aimed to restore the original Victorian Cottage whilst creating a contemporary and exciting piece of architecture at the rear. Paying respect to the original form was of utmost importance as was designing and building a new space that was well and truly in the 21st Century. Marrying the two in a sympathetic and respectful manner created both the challenge and excitement of this project. The brief included a three/four bedroom, two bathroom house with a study. The living area consists an open plan kitchen, dining, lounge room delineated by the use of plywood bulkheads. The successful collaboration between the client, architect and builder has resulted in a project that is a source of pleasure for the client and pride for both the builder and architect. The passionate vision and drive throughout the project has resulted in a building that marries artistic design with function, satisfying the client


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