Arcadia is a mythological place of peace and pastoral happiness, and one can find a Victorian villa named Arcadia in a tranquil street in the suburb of Paddington, on the city fringes of Sydney and walking distance from Centennial Park.
This Gothic Revival villa is wedged between rows of terrace houses, hidden from the street, and by the happy accident of a Victorian land surveyor, conceals an unusually large and lush garden at the rear of the property.
The new additions open a dialogue with the filigree of the traditional Victorian front veranda and the ashlar masonry pattern of its walls without imitating the materials. The new loggia or upper floor balcony is clad with a finely detailed wall of shutters and elaborate cantilevered timberwork. Below a monolithic exposed concrete wall, formed by seasoned timber planks, provides a contrasting base to the loggia.
The mix of modernity with the heritage of the context and the reuse of traditional building details next to contemporary materials is a vibrant new approach to provide new life to tired old buildings.
Today, Arcadia bears its name proudly and a family enjoy the peace and pastoral happiness of its setting.
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