Sunday: A Hidden Garden Oasis in the Heart of Fitzroy
Nestled in the midst of Fitzroy, a bustling inner-urban suburb of Melbourne, lies a hidden gem that transcends the ordinary – the 175 square meter sanctuary known as “Sunday.” A collaborative masterpiece between the innovative minds at Architecture Architecture and Brickworks, this architectural marvel beckons you to step into a world where urban living seamlessly melds with the serenity of a secret garden.
Michael Roper, the visionary director of Architecture Architecture, and Angus Hamilton, a project architect from the same firm, had the privilege of translating the owners’ unique vision into reality. The homeowners approached the architects armed with a meticulously detailed brief that encapsulated their desires. Having previously inhabited the space for an extended period, they possessed a keen awareness of the shortcomings of the old layout and a clear vision of how they wanted to transform it.
The house, originally an aged workers’ cottage, followed the traditional blueprint of a corridor flanked by rooms. However, a bold extension brought forth the main communal, outdoor, and private domains. Two horizontal bands, oriented east to west, further subdivided these realms into two distinct zones. The beating heart of Sunday resides in the kitchen and dining areas, with an inviting sunken lounge adjoining the kitchen – a space thoughtfully designed for comfort and connectivity.
What truly sets this renovation apart is the integration of the central courtyard, elevating Sunday to the status of a hidden garden house. This architectural marvel not only fosters a profound connection with the meticulously landscaped gardens by Amanda Oliver Gardens but also floods the living and bedroom areas with natural light and invigorating ventilation.
In response to the constraints of the compact site, the architects employed a clever interplay of separation and connection. Breeze-block walls artfully define distinct zones within the house while allowing an abundance of light, air, and picturesque outdoor vistas. Accessing the bedrooms requires crossing the open-air courtyard, a deliberate move that serves as a symbolic retreat from the interior, fostering a deeper connection with the external environment.
The interior design of Sunday, which was completed in 2022, is a testament to the harmonious blend of robust materiality, muted palettes, and clean geometric lines. One of the owners, Virginia, grew up in a Paul Couch house, which had a material palette akin to Sunday’s. Natural textures reign supreme, with minimal surface treatments allowing the house to develop its unique character and patina over time. A vibrant splash of bold yellow, inspired by the colors of renowned architect Luis Barragán, graces various corners of this hidden garden house, adding a touch of vivacity to the serene setting.
Sunday offers its inhabitants a multitude of moments, transforming the everyday into rituals of profound appreciation and subtle beauty. Architecture Architecture has masterfully created a hidden garden house that effortlessly bridges the gap between indoor and outdoor spaces. Amidst the relentless pace of city life, Sunday stands as a tranquil and peaceful sanctuary, inviting contemplation and reflection. Owners Sophie and Virginia shared their delight, remarking, “We provided the team at Aa with a handful of loose inspirations and scattered thoughts, and they’ve crafted something that feels so uniquely tailored to us that it’s as if we conjured it into existence.”
In the heart of Fitzroy, where the urban pulse never sleeps, Sunday whispers a different narrative. It invites you to step inside, leave the city’s frenetic energy behind, and discover the hidden garden oasis that has redefined the art of urban living.
Photos by Tom Ross