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Wongi: An Exquisite Bridge Between Celebration of the Past and Needs of Tomorrow

Nestled in the busy suburban neighborhood of Fitzroy North, the Wongi House was originally built in early 1900’s. And much like the other heritage homes in the region, the residence was in need of a modern makeover that respected the past while paving way for the future. Its homeowners wanted a new interior that felt fresh, contemporary and inviting even while retaining the historic street façade. The task of Ben Callery Architects become even trickier when they realized that they had to reconstruct the classic street façade as well since the existing one was barely in a passable state.

Fabulous full-width bi-fold glass doors and dark contemporary section open up the rear extension to the world outside
Fabulous full-width bi-fold glass doors and dark contemporary section open up the rear extension to the world outside

The new contemporary extension sits at the rear of the house and is neatly tucked away while the restored heritage façade charms with its unique appeal. Clad in dark exterior finish and complete with large bi-fold glass doors, windows and adjustable awnings, the revamped living area opens up into the large 150-square meter deck just outside. On the inside, the color scheme is largely neutral with a white backdrop and wooden floor ushering in cheerful modernity. Passive solar heating and cooling techniques, a master bedroom and two additional bedrooms along with a modern kitchen and dining space complete the sensible transformation. [Photography: Tatjana Plitt]

Rear-extension-of-heritage-home-in-Fitzroy-North-that-is-hidden-from-street-view-42555
Rear extension of heritage home in Fitzroy North that is hidden from street view
Contemporary-interior-of-the-revamped-heritage-home-in-Fitzroy-with-a-dashing-new-living-space-24958
Contemporary interior of the revamped heritage home in Fitzroy with a dashing new living space
Double-height-living-area-in-the-rear-with-operable-windows-brings-in-ample-natural-light-64233
Double height living area in the rear with operable windows brings in ample natural light
Living-room-flows-into-the-150-square-meter-terrace-that-is-bound-by-the-north-party-wall-31038
Living room flows into the 150-square meter terrace that is bound by the north party wall
Neutral-colors-coupled-with-wooden-floor-create-a-gorgeous-contemporary-living-room-45938
Neutral colors coupled with wooden floor create a gorgeous contemporary living room

The owners named the house WONGI which is the name of the West Australian tribe (Wangkatha) to which Kate’s maternal Grandmother belonged. Wongi also means an ‘informal talk or chat.’ This house is a conversation integrating history; how things were done then and how we can do them now. The owners were committed, on both a bricks and mortar and symbolic level, to use the past to look forward…

Custom-windows-features-bring-both-light-and-views-into-the-upper-level-bedrooms-38811
Custom windows features bring both light and views into the upper level bedrooms
Master-bedroom-along-with-two-other-bedrooms-were-added-to-the-new-extension-99930
Master bedroom along with two other bedrooms were added to the new extension
Reconstructed-heritage-street-facade-of-the-Wongi-House-in-Fitzroy-North-65747
Reconstructed heritage street facade of the Wongi House in Fitzroy North

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