The Fawkner Street residence was an existing Victorian dwelling that the client wanted refurbished to reflect a more modern living lifestyle. The existing details of cornices, architraves & skirtings were not original, so a contemporary version was explored to create a sense of resolve, appropriateness and timelessness – a method of subtly combining the old with the new, rather than the increasingly common existing versus extension. The understated detailing utilizes an older style of craftsmanship, with the use of large coved plaster cornices and hard plaster ceiling finish. Likewise the new architraves and skirting carried through both old and new portions of the house, lining board robe fronts and lining board ceilings respect the age of the house, resisting the urge to completely modernize or mimic the era.The additions at the rear revolve around the resurgence of the kitchen as the heart of the home, and its size and layout reflects this congregational area. The 7.5 x 5.5 metre kitchen and meals area was designed to allow an expansive island bench (4.9 x 1.5m), its function split between a workbench at one end and an oversized dining area at the other. This kitchen considers use at all times of the day - broad sheet paper reading in the morning with coffee, kids doing homework in the afternoon, groups of friends gathering for drink whilst the host prepares dinner – and at all times overlooks the large north facing garden. In addition to the landscaping providing a great visual backdrop to the kitchen entertaining area, it allowed a departure from the formality of the house, with planting in undulating masses, diverse tree species and a free flowing, un-manicured atmosphere. The garden also serves as a measure to direct residents to the obscured bath house at the rear of the property – previously a disused right of way, the traditional “shed” area has been converted into a full scale Japanese bath complex. The set of pods is predominantly hidden which endows the garden with a sense of theater as the occupants are drawn towards the timber veranda-like structure to investigate. This area is broken up into satellite pavilions so there is a continual journey through the structure - landscaped spa area, to sauna, then private courtyard, followed by a powder room and bamboo garden – functionally and aesthetically a complete departure from the existing dwelling but nevertheless a complementary addition that sits appropriately in the landscape and modern lifestyle.