At home with heritage: a considered approach to renovating your house
Olympic Swimming Stadium Credit: © 2018 HIN LIM AIPP | Hin Lim Photography

At home with heritage: a considered approach to renovating your house

The guide, ‘At home with heritage: a considered approach to renovating your house’, has been developed by the Heritage Council of Victoria, alongside 12 case studies, to assist homeowners who are renovating or creating a home in a heritage building. They provide inspiration and demonstrate how good design and cultural heritage awareness can support the heritage values of a place while also providing a contemporary liveable home.

The guide provides a practical starting point, explaining the concepts of heritage value and significance, the opportunities and challenges that may be encountered and the design questions that need to be considered along the way. It also provides a brief overview of the heritage processes and procedure in Victoria.

The 12 case studies, show how others have designed and managed change to different kinds of heritage houses with differing levels of heritage protection, to inspire and demonstrate what might be possible.

If you don’t know where to start, this will point the way.

‘At home with heritage: a considered approach to renovating your house’ (PDF 5MB) is available to download.

The case studies and guide were prepared for the Heritage Council of Victoria by Justine Clark in 2021.

The Heritage Council would like to thank all those who assisted with the guide and case studies by suggesting projects, providing input and information and allowing us to use images and drawings, especially the owners, architects and heritage consultants who supplied information and material for the case studies, and the photographers who made their images available for us to use in the case studies and guide.

Arnold Street House

Princes Hill
The Arnold Street House is a skillful, striking combination of serious and faithful restoration with elegant new elements. The house has been lovingly revived though painstaking research, with the overall ambition of maintaining the spirit of the house.  

Bank at Vaughan

Shire of Mount Alexander
The Bank at Vaughan project has restored and extended a dilapidated former bank building in the Victorian goldfields. The new interiors evoke earlier finishes, while the new amenities ‘pod’ reflects and reinterprets the form of the bank building. The process of reviving the heritage building and converting it into a home and studio has drawn attention to the quality and value of other historic buildings in the village.   

Bustle House

Northcote
The Bustle House takes the item of Victorian women’s clothing as a metaphor for a striking yet sympathetic addition to this late-nineteenth-century house in Northcote. The approach to the design and materials pursues themes of memory, beauty and aging, while the long edge of the prominent corner site creates a generous relationship to the street and neighbourhood.  

Carlton Terrace

Carlton North - Melbourne
One of ten houses in an unusually long terrace, this small property has been skilfully extended to substantially increase the size and amenity of the living spaces while maintaining the coherence and integrity of the consistent terrace sequence.

Former Salter House

Toorak
The most intact of the Knitlock houses and highly regarded for its contribution to Australian architectural history, the Former Salter House in Toorak has been carefully restored and repaired by its new owners. The work included updating bathroom and amenity spaces and integrating new technology and services.

Hurst at Bickleigh Vale

Bickleigh Vale
Hurst is a cottage at Bickleigh Vale, the village designed by renowned landscape architect Edna Walling. It has been sensitively extended in a manner that relates closely to the original house and maintains the careful integration with the garden and wider landscape setting.

Jewel Box House

South Yarra
A tired bungalow in South Yarra has been revived and revitalised. The Arts and Crafts facade of contrasting red brick and pale roughcast render shows much can be achieved by careful removal of unsympathetic paint, while the detached contemporary addition is sensitively designed and scaled to ensure that the heritage house retains its prominence in the streetscape. The renovations have also improved the environmental performance of the house using Passive House methods.

Kagan House

Studley Park - Kew
The Kagan House in Studley Park is a modest building that captures the optimism of the postwar period, which saw architects and homeowners explore what it meant to live in a ‘modern’ way. The renovation adapts the early 1950s house into a home for a family in the twenty-first century. Embracing the spirit of the original, it brings a joyful contemporary interpretation through colour, texture, materials and detailing.   

Kell Cottage

Port Fairy
Kell Cottage is a small cottage in Port Fairy, listed in the Victorian Heritage Register. The heritage property was intact but dilapidated prior to the new work, which has revived and reinvigorated the cottage and garden and added contemporary living spaces to the side and rear. The charm, character and retained patina of the historic cottage is central to the experience of the new home.

Kia Ora Apartment

Melbourne
This is a subtle and delicate renovation of a Streamline Moderne apartment in inner Melbourne. The new work presents a delightful response to the aesthetic and heritage values of the apartment, while creating beautiful new spaces for daily life.

Park Life

Williamstown North
Park Life is part of the Champion Road Estate Heritage Precinct, a largely intact 1940s housing estate. Park Life draws its design impetus from Garden City principles that underpin the estate, and interprets these in inventive ways. The new work supports the property’s contribution to the value of the precinct, while enhancing the amenity of the house and garden through a set of delightful additions and alterations.

Philpot House

Beaumaris
Designed by John Baird and completed in 1960, the Philpot House has undergone a sequence of renovations over the years – some designed by Baird himself, others more recent under the custodianship of the current owners. Through all of this work, the house has retained its heritage values and connection to the optimism and innovation of the postwar period, which was particularly strong in Beaumaris.

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