Narrow house

Angelucci Architects adds tile-clad extension to Melbourne townhouse

Australian architecture studio Angelucci Architects has transformed a Victorian brick terraced house into a family home named Nido House in Melbourne, Australia.

Located on a street corner in Carlton North, a suburb of Melbourne, the house extension was influenced by Victorian and contemporary design. Nido, which means bird’s nest, was designed to celebrate the client’s family’s migrant history.

Top: The photo is of Dylan James. Above: Angelucci Architects partially covered the facade of Nido House with slate tiles

“Carlton North was the area Italian migrants flocked to in the 1950s,” Enza Angelucci, director of Angelucci Architects, told Dezeen.

“The house did not belong to the client’s grandparents but his grandparents first lived in the area.”

Curved slate tiles on brick building by Angelucci Architects
The house was built as an extension of an existing brick terrace

The extension uses materials and patterns from traditional Victorian houses, with an intricate pattern of hand-cut Welsh slate tiles adding a modern touch to the facade.

“During demolition, we discovered the rich slate pattern under the rusty galvanized iron roof,” Angelucci said.

“We wanted the new extension to reflect the highly decorative riches of the original Victorian terrace reimagined in a new format,” she continued. “In other words, retaining traditional building techniques and materials in contemporary architecture.”

Blue and green tiles on courtyard wall in Australian home
The glazed walls around the kitchen, living room and dining room allow a view of the courtyard

The house is long and narrow, retaining much of the original facade, and exterior extensions are visible above and to the rear of the existing structure.

At the narrow entrance, much of the facade of the original has been retained, as have parts of historic masonry along the side of the house, where it meets newer gray brickwork.

Each floor of the house is connected to the exterior, with a central courtyard accessible from the kitchen, living room and dining room and a roof terrace accessible from all areas of the house.

Child's bedroom in Angelucci Architects home with raised bed and ladder
The beds are built into the wall of the children’s rooms. The photo is by Dylan James

The entrance to the house runs along the master bedroom at the front of the house. The master bedroom has an en-suite bedroom and a spacious walk-in closet and leads into a living room with curved oak lined walls.

“We detailed the living room’s vertical oak slats to extend the eye to the street trees ensuring the occupant is constantly reminded of our natural surroundings,” Angelucci said.

Curved wall lined with wooden slats in the living room with floating staircase
A vertical arrangement of wooden slats borders the curved wall in the living room

Beyond is an open-plan kitchen and dining area, which wraps around the side of the courtyard. The social areas have glass walls overlooking the courtyard.

Handmade Australian and Japanese tiles in various earthy tones have been added to a courtyard wall.

Living space with orange chairs and glass walls surrounded by a round courtyard with blue and green tiles
The kitchen is behind the glazed courtyard

The kitchen has a skylight with a view of the trees outside and a wall of wood-lined cabinets.

A built-in curved table, bench and banquette make the space ideal for hosting guests and dining.

Dining area with curved white table, green seats and skylights
The dining area features a curved table and earth-toned seating

Designed for a family of six, making the space child-friendly became the heart of the project.

“Children played a central role in the design with upstairs bedrooms directly connected to the roof terrace, including a cubby house in the roof of the existing Victorian terrace and a vertical garden to be planted while the city ​​skyline and nearby rooftops frame children’s activities,” the studio said.

The studio has designed various play areas for children throughout the house, including a basement playroom and a third-floor rooftop terrace with garden and city views.

On the ground floor is a basement with blackboard walls. Here, the architecture workshop included a cellar, a laundry room and the playground.

The space, which is topped by a warm wood-lined ceiling, is connected to the upper floor by a staircase lined with brick from the original Victorian house.

Chalkboard walls with artwork and gray concrete steps in basement of Melbourne home
Black slate walls line the basement walls

The same bricks were used to line the courtyard, creating a sense of continuity between inside and outside.

Nido House has been shortlisted in the residential revival project category of this year’s Dezeen Awards. Other shortlisted projects in the category include a Studio Weave creative retreat and an energy-efficient house in London.

Photography is by Dave Kulesza, unless otherwise noted.