The Pod House, Melbourne
Designed by Nic Owen Architects
Photos by Christine Francis
Ultra-Stylish Pod that Radiates Appeal
The renovations to this residence in Fitzroy North are a perfect example of how architectural glass can transform an area into a sophisticated and spacious family living area that is ultra-stylish, warm and inviting.
Melbourne architects Nic Owen has designed a spectacular pod that has been built on the south side of the property to enable as much sunlight as possible to enter the property’s living space via floor-to-ceiling, architectural glass.
An open, welcoming area created for functional family living, relaxing, eating, and entertaining.
The architect has allowed for maximum use of glass in the pod extension to open up the property as much as possible while offering ultra-modern clean lines.
The extension has allowed for a new fourth bedroom that opens out onto the timber deck.
French doors from the fourth bedroom create a wonderful feeling of fluidity as the new deck is now a natural extension of the rear of the property.
Seamless Outdoor Living
The effect is one of bringing the outside in, and that includes the backyard.
Tempered, shatter-resistant glass has the effect of making the new timber deck almost an annex to the home.
There is ample space for entertaining or relaxing outdoors with easy access to the kitchen area.
The roof extends out from the wall to provide shade from the summer sun but allows lower, winter sunlight to enter.
This lower roof also respects the neighbour’s right to light and allows for setback codes.
The timber deck is neatly framed by a lawn, with ample space for a trampoline. It includes a car parking space and allows plenty of room for the family to use the backyard.
As the light fades, the home is cosy and inviting, and beautiful shadows and reflections are created by the glass.
The family can open up the glass doors to allow fresh air to flood in and for direct access to the backyard.
Spacious Family Dining
A family dining area has been created for the family to come together and relax, eat and socialise, looking out over the new timber deck and backyard.
The kitchen is within easy reach of the dining area for ease of serving, and high-gloss units and wooden furniture add style and elegance.
The change in ceiling height defines the kitchen area, and the pendant light beautifully frames the breakfast bar. There is ample space to move about, even when the family is entertaining guests.
The kitchen is compact yet fully equipped with a fresh, modern, minimalist design. Solid glass splashbacks provide a neat, protective finish to the cooking area.
Blending Old With New
The architect was tasked with blending modern with period for this Victorian property.
The new separate pod structure has been connected to the original weatherboard house via an innovative glass passageway, offering views to the existing structure with gardens on either side.
The remaining Victorian house has been fully renovated and updated. As this picture shows, the original period features have been retained and the end result is perfectly seamless.
Bathrooms that Maximise Natural Light
Opposite the new fourth bedroom, a stunning, spacious family bathroom has a separate bath and shower, and conveniently, can be accessed from the outside of the house.
Large mirrors enhance space and light, creating an atmosphere of clarity and translucency, and the open layout allows air to circulate freely.
The renovations have allowed for an ensuite bathroom. Natural sunlight floods in via the shatter-resistant, custom glass window integrated into the ceiling.
A commitment was made to include an extensive use of natural finishes, recycled materials, and low-maintenance finishes throughout the property.
The pod house addresses the dilemma of joining old with new, period with contemporary, wood with glass, and shadow with light.
A modern extension has been created, which is at the same time modest and extremely practical.
As a result of designing and building the pod, the total footprint of the house is about the same as the original, but the overall experience of space and light has been greatly improved.
“We achieved a sensible yet aspiring result which feels much larger than it actually is,” said Nic Owen.