Minifie van Schaik Architects
MvS Architects
Wattle Avenue House


client:
Stefano de Pieri & Donata Carrazza
date:
2011
location:
Mildura, Victoria
builder:
Jaag Professional Builders
map:
link to google maps




The Wattle Avenue House, for Stefano de Pieri, Donata Carrazza and family is located in the centre of Mildura’s 45 degree grid, walking distance from the river, adjacent to the Art Deco Old Mildura Base Hospital, where Donata was born, and diagonally opposite St Joseph's College where she attended high school.

The project is the result of wholesale renovation of, and addition to, a newly purchased 1960’s yellow brick red-tile roofed brick veneer dwelling typical of the era and locale. The extension romanticises this vernacular: from the street it is designed to appear as a “lean-to” – as if a minor extension to the existing.

In fact the alteration completely reconfigures the house. What was once a small two bedroom U-shaped house now has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, walk in laundry, two kitchens, a walk in pantry, wine cellar, laundry, a media room, adjacent but contiguous kitchen/living/dining spaces, and an internal courtyard joined by large sliding doors to the living area.

The internal courtyard divides the master bedroom from the living area and allows light into it, two bathrooms, the kitchen and the laundry. A glazed brick wall, its pattern abstracted from lake Mungo while winking at a Paul Smith shirt, elbows in past the double sliding door and nestles under the clerestory window which runs the length of the house.

The house is, naturally, planned around its kitchen whose lipped stainless steel expanse and deep double sinks address the dining area over a yellow terrazzo island bench and the living area over a breakfast bench. The laundry is oversized to accommodate the making of gnocchi – a weekly occurrence

The house is a tardis, with a humble exterior and an interior provides full hosting functionality for a family that are Mildura’s most famous hosts.


Wattle Avenue House was awarded an Australian Institute of Architects award for Residential Alterations and Extensions in June 2012.

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Photographs by Peter Bennetts & Jan van Schaik.