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Roofscape House, North Carlton

The addition to an inner-suburb terrace for a young family reflects the roof-forms and colours of its surroundings.

  • Shortlist – Residential Alterations & Additions Category

    Victorian Architecture Awards 2011

    Client Brief

    A narrow terrace house needed a host of new spaces to provide a young family with the room to live, work and grow. In adding a study/guest room, bedrooms and a family room we looked to avoid pushing these new spaces into their much loved garden, while drawing in the amenity of the inner suburban surroundings.

    Design Response

    We wanted to alter the way that the house and its surroundings were experienced; to address its narrow site in a way that avoided placing a corridor down one side and resisted the urge to push everything to the boundaries. We met the clients need for new spaces – without encroaching on their garden – by adding a clever addition to the top of the existing structure.

    The new first floor was stretched along the length of the existing house, touching each boundary at its centre and narrowing at each end. In the centre of the house, the double height family room connects the ground floor to the upstairs. The rooms either side of this tall space are also used for circulation, minimising corridors.

    These spaces are then bookended by bedrooms. At the street end the bedroom pushes into the existing roof space, creating a room with the proportions of an attic; an interesting bedroom for a young girl. At the other end, the clients’ bedroom gains internal height while narrowing to minimize any overshadowing or overlooking.

    The new house is better connected, more adaptable, and open to views and breezes. As an object it is clearly different to the house it sits on, but one that reflects the roof-forms and colours of its surroundings.

  • Characteristics

    Key values

    • Adaptable, flexible spaces within designated zones
    • Contextual aesthetic of roof forms and materials
    • Natural cross and stack ventilation
    • Views from all new rooms
    • Careful use of project budget

    Key materials

    • Lysaught Klip Lok roofing and Cladding,
    • Hardies Scyion Matrix Cladding
    • Lapaege Rosso Siso wall tiles
    • Eco-Ply Hoop Pine Flooring
    • Basalt vanity by Marble Art
  • Specifications

    Core deliverables

    • Bedrooms x 2
    • Study
    • Laundry
    • Family room
    • Storage attic
    • Master bedroom terrace
    • Terrace

    Services Provided

    • Concept design
    • Planning permit documentation
    • Contract documentation and building permit
    • Construction administration


    Antarctica (with Simon Whibley as co-director)


    Project Team: Simon Whibley, Ben Inman, Nico Kelly


    Vince Murphy & Helen Thomas

    Date completed



    North Carlton, Victoria

  • Roofscape House Media


    • Finalist, Alterations and Additions Category, Victorian Architecture Awards 2011


    • Forty Six Square Metres of Land Doesn’t Normally Become a House, 2011
    • Houses Magazine, Issue 55


    • ‘Surprises All Round’ Ann Pilmer, The Age
  • Roofscape House Testimonials

    It’s not just the result that was excellent, it was also the service. We were given a clear understanding of what to expect and when to make decisions, at each stage of the project. This was backed up with attention to detail during the construction.

    Vince Murphy and Helen Thomas

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