written by:
October 14, 2015
"Victorian" is both a style and a period: the latter being anything constructed from 1837 to 1901, a period that saw the growth of a bourgeois class and construction of their new dwellings across the Western world. Stylistically, Victorian usually means asymmetrical facades, porches, a pitched roof, decorative trim, and textured exteriors (such as shingles or masonry). These modern additions and renovations meld the Victorians' eclectic quasi-gothic designs with equally expressive modern additions.
Dublin Victorian Extension from the rear

Prism-like wood and glass panels replace a musty conservatory in Dublin. The façade of the two-story Victorian home remains unchanged, hiding the extent to which its opposite end has been transformed. NOJI Architects was tasked with remedying the lack of light from the property’s rear garden. 

The rear extension, which replaced the conservatory, is composed of a series of intersecting triangular planes that draw light into the home. Transitioning from the extension to the garden, chairs and a table by Ikea sit on the cedar-clad deck. In the garden, a bespoke bench by OIKOS Furniture is perched above the granite paving stones. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in With a Bright Plywood Extension, This May Be the Least Stuffy Victorian Ever
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Modern interior covered with wood panels

The recent history of Janna Stark's San Francisco flat, located in an 1890's Victorian house, is literally burned into the wall.

After the interior of the house was completely gutted by a fire in 2006, Stark decided to modernize it—but she wanted to retain an element of the past as well. "I was looking for some way to keep the memory of the fire intact and not just forget about what happened at this pivotal moment in my life," says Stark, a trend consultant.

Local architects Hulett Jones and Paul Haydu of jones | haydu sliced some of the house's charred framing into strips, revealing the intricate patterning of the old-growth beams. Used for interior paneling, the wood—with its burned edges—brings an unexpected texture to the newly streamlined open space. "And the exterior walls have been upgraded to their proper fire rating," notes Jones.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© 2010 Laura Flippen Photography
Originally appeared in Wood-Paneled Interior in a San Francisco Victorian
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<p>In early 2006, Katie and John Eller reached out to a friend for a reference. "She said, 'I want your architect and your contractor,'" recalls Sarah Willmer, founder of <a href="http://www.studio-sw.com">Studio Sarah Willmer, Architecture</a>.

The renovation of Katie and John Eller's Park Street Residence in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco began with a referral from a friend: "She said, 'I want your architect and your contractor,'" recalls Sarah Willmer, founder of Studio Sarah Willmer, Architecture. "Katie had heard so many renovation horror stories and saw that her friends were having such a good time with us; we just had a such a good rapport with her friend."The renovation doubled the size of the old Victorian from just over 1,000 square feet to just over 2,000 square feet. More importantly, it untangled the mismatched layout and separated the public and private spaces while opening up the south-facing wall to let in ample daylight.

Originally appeared in Park Street Renovation
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Exterior of the Lens House with modern office addition

Inspired by the aperture of a camera, an angular home expansion brings focus to a new live/work space.

The roughly 5,000-square-foot Lens House renovation, which was finished in 2012 and won a 2014 RIBA National Award, required six years, major remedial work on the roof and walls, approval from the planning committee, and even a sign-off from a horticulturalist to guarantee the backyard excavation didn't interfere with a walnut tree. "These things aren’t for people who are in a hurry," says architect Alison Brooks. The focus is the ten-sided trapezoidal office addition. "It wraps itself around the house with a completely different set of rules than the Victorian building," she says.

Courtesy of 
Paul Riddle
Originally appeared in Victorian Home in London Gets a Modern Office Addition
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Farnham walks the couple’s Vizsla, Kasia, down the sloped alley upon which the 
house sits. Hill’s renovation maintains some Victorian character in the decorative eaves 
and scaling, but the home is largely an anomaly for San Francisco.

Although postwar California modernism is generally associated with Southern California, the Bay Area’s own tradition has begun in recent years to be more widely acknowledged, and its surviving treasures have gained an appreciative audience. San Francisco’s modernists were faced with the issue of building within a firmly established stylistic tradition—think bay windows and gingerbread. Henry Hill’s 1947 renovation of a 1908 Victorian tucked away on an alley in historic Russian Hill provides a remarkable response to the dilemma.

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Originally appeared in Mid-Century Mash-Up
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Toronto Contrast House Exterior

DUBBELDAM architecture + design made this Victorian house in Toronto bigger and more energy-efficient.

Sustainability is very important to us,” lead architect Heather Dubbeldam says. “It is easy to design with passive systems, to use passive sustainable principles to influence the design and layout of the house.” Her team reduced the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting through carefully positioned doors and windows that draw in natural light and breeze. New insulation, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and low-energy lighting also minimize the homeowners’ dependence on utilities.

 

Courtesy of 
Bob Gundu
Originally appeared in Bright, Efficient Upgrade Transforms a Victorian in Toronto
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London house backyard addition

Have you ever walked past a house on your way to work and thought, Wouldn’t it be nice to live there. Artist Judith Brenner did. But unlike most of us, Judith loved the house so much that, in July 2002, she and her husband, Jonathan, took things a step further by phoning the owners and making an offer. Before they knew it, the Brenners were holding the keys to the front door, and moving their three young children into the double-fronted Victorian in Richmond, just outside of London.

Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. “I try to be true to the location,” he explains, “so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed.”

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Victorian Secrets
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Dublin Victorian Extension from the rear

Prism-like wood and glass panels replace a musty conservatory in Dublin. The façade of the two-story Victorian home remains unchanged, hiding the extent to which its opposite end has been transformed. NOJI Architects was tasked with remedying the lack of light from the property’s rear garden. 

The rear extension, which replaced the conservatory, is composed of a series of intersecting triangular planes that draw light into the home. Transitioning from the extension to the garden, chairs and a table by Ikea sit on the cedar-clad deck. In the garden, a bespoke bench by OIKOS Furniture is perched above the granite paving stones. 

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