Palm House - Kirsten Johnstone Architecture | ArchiPro

Palm House

This renovation of an original single storey inner-city Victorian terrace house highlights lush internal courtyards and connected living spaces.

Capturing natural light was a key aspect in the design to open up the typically narrow and dark Victorian-era home. Three courtyards were devised - a private outdoor shower off the master bedroom ensuite, a second featuring a natural billabong, and finally a rear yard with deck, all with abundant planting courtesy of prominent landscape designer, Phillip Johnson. Different light qualities created by these courtyards punctuates the experience of moving through the home from bedrooms to living areas and turning the notion of dark Victorian homes on its head.

The dense planting provides soft organic screening between private and shared spaces, whilst becoming a visual feature in themselves: the high contrast vibrant green popping against charcoal walls and finishes. Opposing glazing between courtyards also encourages light to reflect and expand interior spaces, blurring the boundaries between outside and in.

To the rear resides the open plan living, kitchen and dining area, highlighted by a central pop-up ceiling with clerestory windows, allowing light to flood this area and dramatise the original Victorian’s traditionally high ceilings.

Phillip Johnson Landscapes

Photography: Tatjana Plitt

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