Known for his masterful use of simple materials, Melbourne architect Rob Kennon says his work is about “craft and invention” built in with “elements of surprise and delight.” For a compact addition to an Art Deco house, he created a rigorously planned puzzlework of plywood bookshelf partitioning offset by concrete brickwork and flooring. The results are a domestic sanctuary: a series of discrete but integrated rooms, and there’s no lack of shelf space—or delight.
Above: Sliding glass doors in the back of the 135-square-meter (1,453-square-foot) addition open the living room to the garden.
Above: Kennon applied a materials palette of raw birch ply and polished concrete mixed with black elements throughout. The light is Greta Grossman’s Grasshopper Lamp, a midcentury classic.
Above: Open and closed shelving link the living room and kitchen/dining area. Says Kennon, “We aimed to created a sense of enclosure within the individual living environments while still maintaining visual and functional connections.”
Above: The remarkable millwork continues on the beamed ceiling. The dining area’s cement brickwork echoes the exterior walls and introduces a new raw texture to the space.
Above: Flush black cabinets are paired with a black Vola faucet (see more colors here) and butcher block counters that look like extensions of the shelving.
Above: A central square window suffuses the galley kitchen and dining area with with light, and takes the place of a painting.
Above: The fridge and pantry are concealed behind closed doors in the entry to the addition. And there’s also a glassed-in laundry area with sink. The stove wall has a backsplash of black subway tiles (scroll above for a view of it from the living room).
Above: A minimalist’s dream in a corner of the living room. The Alvar Aalto Stool, designed in 1933, is a Remodelista all-time favorite.
Above: Go to 10 Favorites: The Niche Workspace for more built-in desks.
Above: Vertically stacked subway tile and Vola fixtures in the all-white bath.
Above: Exterior shelving and a window onto the laundry area in the latticed entry. See more of Kennon’s work at RKA.
For two more Melbourne remodels to admire, go to:
- Brick Comeback: A Revived Brick Manse by Clare Cousins
- Sunny Side Up: A Studio Four Victorian Makeover
Frequently asked questions
Who is the architect behind the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne?
The architect behind the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne is Rob Kennon.
What is the design concept behind the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne?
The design concept behind the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne is to create a harmonious combination of plywood and concrete in a modern design that respects the existing period house.
What materials are used in the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne?
The Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne is primarily made of plywood and concrete, with some additional materials such as steel and glass.
What was the biggest challenge faced during the construction of the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne?
The biggest challenge faced during the construction of the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne was the limited space available for the new addition, which required careful planning and execution to create a functional and beautiful space.
How does the Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne complement the existing period house?
The Plywood and Concrete Addition in Northcote, Melbourne complements the existing period house by respecting the heritage features and integrating modern design elements in a way that enhances the overall character of the house.