PHOOEY Architects transformed an existing double storey Victorian-era heritage-listed attached terrace house in Melbourne into a bespoke & sustainable home for a young family.

Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts

Originally, the house was entered via a dark, stuffy corridor located under a staircase. In its place, a new welcoming entry foyer now opens into a sunlight drenched multi-level void with natural ventilation. Centrally located in the re-planned house, a feature stair climbs & descends between three levels. Landings are large enough to work, play or just hang out on.

Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts

Material pieces salvaged from the demolition were stored on site for upcycling. From the original staircase, existing steps & balustrades became a chandelier suspended in the void. Existing windows became a feature wall & lightwell. Leftover stair balustrades screened a kid’s loft bed & became joinery handles in the kitchen. Metal security doors became external privacy & sun shading devices. Slate roof tiles became window sills & feature elements in the external facade.

Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts
Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts

The existing rear & dysfunctional portions of the house were replaced by habitable environments opening onto the rear garden.

Embodied memory & energy lost from the demolished red brick rear facade was fragmented onto the new building envelope.

Demolition drawings of the existing rear portion of the house were cut up into equal squares & re-arranged in a surrealist cubomania manner. Tinkering together with the owner produced a resolved floor & facade layout.

Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts

The language of the house additions extends into a small child friendly garden filled with productive pockets.

Photovoltaic cells, solar hot water & water collection tanks are hidden from view.

Cubo House / PHOOEY Architects
© Peter Bennetts

Whereas on display are the upcycled memories from the old house, contextualised by efficient planning and infused with natural air & sunlight.

Project Details:

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Type: Residential – Houses
Architect & Interior Designer: PHOOEY Architects
Design Team: Emma Young, Peter Ho , Adam Gordon, Jessie Cook, Rob Chittleborough, Helen Duong, Anne-Claire Deville & Lucinda Arundel
Photographer: Peter Bennetts