Award: Residential Design
Clare Cousins Architects for Stable & Cart House
Originally a stable and cart store, Stable & Cart House is a sensitive adaptation in North Melbourne. The design challenge presented a paradox, to introduce the obligatory domestic programme while preserving the warehouse scale of the interior and engaging thoughtfully with the imperfections and idiosyncrasies of the 1920’s brick warehouse.
Stable and Cart House beautifully balances the retention of an existing building with very bold and practical new insertions. There is a real sense of the heritage nature of the original structure and the new elements make it even more appealing. The jury acknowledged that re-using a big, dark space for residential living posed challenges and so were especially impressed by the transformation. Cutting in a courtyard to bring in natural light and air creates a stunning intervention, while the new material palette contrasts with the old, highlighting what was already there. There’s nothing self-conscious about this project and its honesty is complemented by the striking rawness of the existing building. The design’s balance and restraint makes it simply amazing.