Glassford Street Residence by Alison Dodds Architects
Glassford Street Residence
Melbourne, Australia
Not a square junction in sight - a family home bursting at the seams and in much need of modernisation took on a unique form that was beautifully executed throughout.
Alison Dodds Architect
Ben Scott Garden Design
Alex Reinders
ADA 2018Eve Edwards Profile Pic

Eve Edwards of Alison Dodds Architect

Alison Dodds Architect is a South Yarra based practice specialising in high-quality residential architecture and interiors. As architects, the team are driven primarily by the client’s individual needs and a desire to generate spaces that are configured pragmatically but also enhance an emotional experience of the home.

GlassfordSt Profile Ben Scott

Ben Scott of Ben Scott Garden Design

Award-winning landscape architect & horticulturist Ben Scott is renowned for his bespoke garden designs that bring harmony & cohesion to outdoor spaces. With a diverse portfolio accumulated from more than 15 years designing, Ben is experienced in creating gardens of varying aesthetic, function & scale.

Glassford Street Residence by Alison Dodds Architects

The Story Behind The Design

From the street, this classic heritage-listed Edwardian house in Melbourne’s suburbs looked a pretty picture. Internally, the home no longer suited the changing family needs and the rear 1980’s extension left the house feeling cold, dark and soulless. The demolition of the dated rear addition was on the drawing board from the initial consultation with Alison Dodds Architect and the abstract form that was conceived in its place was born out of a variety of factors.


Alison Dodds Architect made the deliberate decision not to replicate the period style or stitch a square box onto the back of the Edwardian home. “This was an attitude that was shared by our clients”, explains project architect Eve Edwards. Instead, the first-floor addition that provided the occupants with additional accommodation, took on a contemporary abstract form that defined the old and new in a complementary manner and created unexpected internal spaces.“There were several other contributing factors that shaped this form”, says Eve. “ResCode requirements for respecting neighbourhood character initially drove the side setbacks. Additionally, elongating the first-floor form enabled us to create an eave overhang facilitating shade and shelter to the North-facing living spaces.”

File transferred from Cumulus
File transferred from Cumulus

Aesthetically, material choice played a key role in connecting the two styles of architecture to create a cohesive home. Externally, the abstract form was clad in Metallic Colorbond which the client had a real affinity with, explains Eve. Elsewhere Grampian Blue brickwork was chosen to connect with the existing red brick façade.Internally, the architects embraced stone and timber for its timeless combination. “Chalford® limestone selection to floor and wall was our starting point for developing the palette internally. It’s one of those finishes when used in the vertical plane, you feel compelled to run your hand over and it’s beautiful underfoot”, says Eve. “The appeal of Chalford® is in its variations which is the lovely quality of a natural product. It’s the tactile and textured element amongst a restrained colour palette.” In the more formal rooms of the Edwardian home, the architects opted for Royal Oak timber flooring and timber cabinetry to evoke a classic feel.

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Take A Closer Look

Crucial to the success of the build was allowing pockets of light to flood the interiors; an aspect the homeowners missed while living in their dark 1980’s extension. “Opening up the whole central spine of the house allowed us to bring massive amounts of natural light into the building and continuing this with a vista through to the garden beyond,” Eve explains. “The garden designed by Ben Scott was thoughtfully considered balancing level changes and angles which complement the architecture. The architecture and garden design evolved together; this was integral to the success of the project.”

The nature of monochromatic internal material palette allows you to absorb the ever-changing landscape and green backdrop.

Eve Edwards

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“The rear garden design was designed to have a classic/contemporary feel in order to work with the modern house extension that is beside the original Edwardian house,” says Ben. It’s the glimpses of the garden you see as you move through the house that enriches the occupant’s experience.Using two different stone types internally and externally further highlighted the different areas, yet provided a similar aesthetic tone. “Outside, Endicott® was selected as the colour worked perfectly with the interior stone selection, proposed architecture and the in-situ concrete garden wall”, Ben explains. “The crazy paving format was chosen as it complimented the classic/contemporary setting where we want the paving to be timeless, and the soft and casual lines provide relief against the straight lines of the architecture.”

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Signature Element

There was a strong desire to enliven the interiors with natural light. A key element to achieving this was the generous wide entry hallway that creates an internal spine through the middle of the house, explains Eve. “It provides generosity of spirit to the entire house.”

The crazy paving works perfectly in this classic / contemporary setting where we want the paving to be timeless, and the soft and casual lines provide relief to the straight lines of the architecture.

Ben Scott

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The client’s desire for a cohesive home that accommodated their changing family needs required not only an extension that married well with the heritage architecture but creatives that could seamlessly combine their disciplines. For both Eve and Ben, working collaboratively as a team was integral to the success of the entire project. “It could also seem a daunting task for some carpenters framing a house with no square junctions, however, our carpenter relished in and stepped up to the challenge,” says Eve. Ben also notes, as creatives they were fortunate to be working with clients that trusted their design eye and allowed the concept to unfold. The end result is a home that is enriched by materials, natural light and the feeling of space.

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