When Zen Architects set out to transform a leaky 1960s Melbourne warehouse into a modern family home, they kept one mantra in mind: reuse as much of the existing building as possible.
Salvaging what they could, the design team was able to upcycle everything from light fixtures to doors, sprinkler pipes, cladding, and roof sheeting—not to mention the building’s battered concrete slab and steel frame. The result is an energy-efficient and homey building that still retains some of the flavor of its industrial past.
The home’s shared spaces are open and light-filled, with the kitchen flowing into the double-height dining room, which connects to the cozy living room. Above, a plywood-paneled mezzanine level was created to house the bedrooms and private spaces. Sleeping areas are separated from en suite bathrooms by the trusses of the building frame outfitted with translucent glass. Several of the bedrooms look out onto a sunny, wood-floored roof deck which offers views of the city.
With no space for a backyard, the architects opened up a section of the original building to create a lovely interior courtyard running the length of the main living space. A set of large steel planter boxes echoes the building’s history while making room for ample greenery.