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© Nic Granleese
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Word on the Street: the Playful 'Hello' House in Melbourne Greets Passersby

Picture of Charlotte Luxford
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 2 April 2017
Guests to this witty house in Melbourne are warmly welcomed before even stepping inside the front door, thanks to a cool design concept by OOF! architecture. Rather than just your average brick wall, the firm decided to bring a new dialogue to the city’s streetscape and interact with the local Richmond community rather than shutting the house off from the neighbourhood.
© Nic Granleese

The wall was designed in collaboration with owner and visual artist Rose Nolan, who wanted to transform a former Victorian shophouse into a modern and bright family home, complete with a studio for Rose. They wanted to restore and extend the existing building while also being sensitive to the area’s hodgepodge of 19th-century heritage buildings, 1960s and 1970s brick apartments and small warehouses.

© Nic Granleese

‘Rather than blending in or blanding out of its heritage-ous neighbourhood, “Hello” house is a slightly loud but friendly new face in the street,’ says OOF! architecture.

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The modest but beautiful front rooms were refreshed and its impractical old back rooms were demolished and replaced with new spaces more suited to 21st-century living. Rose now creates her text-inspired artworks out of the studio in the building’s renovated shopfront.

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According to OOF!, Rose weren’t interested in creating anything too flashy, hence the use of raw materials and minimalist interior design. The industrial-style interior mixes warm wood with black-coated metal and polished floors, while a restricted colour palette ties the elements together.

© Nic Granleese

The one-storey home is flooded with natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing at either end of the property, one of which faces a small private garden that’s ideal for entertaining al fresco in summer.

© Nic Granleese