Hawthorn, Victoria


Sited in one of the most prestigious streets in Hawthorn, this significant heritage home ‘Cymbeline’ stands proud to the street with a great presence. This presence is punctuated by its scale and robust materiality, coupled with intricate yet flat detailing. These characteristics represent the original architect’s desire to move away from applied decoration and toward the expression of design by form. Castley McCrimmon were engaged to lead and design all aspects of the refurbishment and extension to this important heritage building. Our clients presented us with a brief to update and extend the original home, creating something that felt connected from old to new. Importantly it needed to be a place their young family could grow into, a flexible home for all of life’s occasions, from daily rituals to family celebrations.

The initial stage of the design process looked specifically at the siting of the new extension and in its simplest form, the extension consists of an extruded gabled form. This form extends the existing 3-storey gable to the sites South-East toward the Eastern boundary, making a direct formal reference to the existing building, whilst maximising the new extensions Northern outlook. The existing building is connected with the new via an ‘invisible’ glass link which keys itself into the original building, touching it as lightly as possible.

Taking cues from the 1887 architect and their approach to ornamentation, the new buildings architectural language is also representative of an expression of design by form. It has been designed to sit beside the existing building with absolute respect, whilst having its own presence and identity. This new structure sits quietly next to the robust existing eastern façade of the old, its corners softened with flowing rounded edges providing an endless path around the building’s perimeter. The combination stone and brickwork façade are a nod to the original building and its Hawthorn brick skin. In a story of contrasting similarities, the softly toned and curved brickwork contrasts with the heavy brown and square brickwork all whilst feeling familiar, timeless, and weighted.

With a concerted effort to create a unique architecture that sits sympathetically next to its older counterpart, and an importance placed on planning around family rituals big and small, this is a home designed to last and importantly for the rigours of family life.