Kelkan architecture


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Ideas, feasibility, concept design

is where it all starts. It's also where the most critical and costly decisions are made, so it helps to consider all your options with care and experience.

Planning permit applications

are typically needed for residential developments, especially for renovations on small lots, multi-dwellings or where there's a heritage overlay.

Full architect service

is a comprehensive design process that includes a construction overview. It starts from project initiation and includes design, permits, contract documentation, contract administration, construction inspections both during and after completion.

Architect site visit, advocacy

can be provided at your site, for interactive information and ideas, or to help understand a proposed development nearby.

Development advice

for a second opinion, a project or design review, or advice about realising a site's development potential.

Architect's job

as your architect, work with you, take on the bulk of the work, provide help and advice throughout the process, and make it simple and easy for you.

Over 25 years

experience in homes and renovations, providing uncompromised advice, independent of builders and suppliers.

To realise a design

a lot to happens in between the idea and moving in to a finished building. There is the great design, but also resolution of issues such as feasibility, site conditions, costs, authorities, permits, construction and the final touches. All need deft resolution.


require a lot of attention to detail, balancing the old with the new, to avoid inconvenient and costly surprises. Aligning a new design with the existing often leads to practical advantages, though occasionally the best approach is to start anew.


planning policy aims to preserve the history of a place. New work should not compete or be confused with the heritage fabric. Typical issues include demolition, positioning, setback, bulk, form, appearance, character, height, car parking and landscaping.

Sustainability, energy efficiency, passive design

aim to create buildings that reduce the environmental footprint through reduction of greenhouse gasses, improved use and disposal of resources. Energy efficiency is increased by using the sun to heat the house in winter, and in summer using natural ventilation and shading for cooling.

Town house

design starts from understanding key issues of the planning scheme such as neighbourhood character, height limits, street setbacks, car parking, private open space, garden areas and overlooking, then applying these in a design that maximises the opportunities and minimises the constraints.

Design we like

is in both the grand vision and the details. Space and style, modern and dynamic. Outdoor connections, natural things, daylight. Functionality so things work efficiently. A touch of whimsy, a visual challenge, something different, an exception to the rule. Timber that's environmental and easy to use. Bricks for their exceptional durability and heritage value. Black for its recessive, moody and contrasting character.


Kelkan architecture,, 03 9380 6372, 657 Station Street North Carlton Vic.

Need an architect to visit your home or project site?

We provide on-site advice for design and project related issues - for ideas, concepts, project feasibility, town planning, building regulations, time frames, a second opinion and other matters to enable you to understand what is involved so you to get your project up and running. We can meet at your home or project site.

We provide professional advice

Let us know in advance, as best as possible, what you wish to know about or achieve, and any particular issues, so we are better prepared to provide appropriate advice at our meeting.

We will be led by you as to what you want.

In our preparation we will also look at, depending on what you tell us, your site on Google earth, review council planning requirements and where necessary try to clarify any matters of which you advise us.


Please also include the following.

At the meeting:

Our site visits are normally 1 hour duration, which we feel is usually adequate to provide you with a way forward.

While we will consider the condition of your building in providing advice, we do not provide a building condition inspection service. Advice provided during the meeting is primarily verbal, with some simple hand drawn sketches or notes if required to help explain our advice.

Adding or renovating in Fitzroy, Carlton and other inner areas with a heritage overlay. Consider the policy issues:

Yarra Council plan states “.. to keep a sense of history and place, as reflected by streetscapes, shops and houses, as well as how to pay tribute to the lived history and heritage, connecting with the stories and experiences of those who came before us and shaped the character of Yarra”.

Heritage place

Buildings have been graded for their heritage contribution, either as individually significant, contributory, or non-contributory.

Contributory building

The important heritage elements are principally those that are visible from the street, but also include elements that contribute to the status of the heritage place. Policy encourages retention of contributory elements, but removal of existing elements considered non-contributory.

Design for heritage

Design of upper storey additions

street visibility sight line diagrams

Design & building process - Architect's 7 principal stages

Pre-design, concept design, design development, documentation, contractor selection, contract administration, post construction.

1. Pre-design

What you want - your project brief, how we will work together and engagement of your architect.

Gather information about your site, context, boundaries, easements, land slope, existing buildings, neighbour's buildings, vegetation, views, services, access and similar.

2. Concept design

Initial creation of an architectural concept of space and form. Consider alternative options, assess regulatory controls and costs.

3. Design development

Refine the design into a preferred solution. Examine function, the smaller elements, determine materials, finishes and environmental systems.

If required, apply for town planning approval. Applications normally require a considerable amount of documentation, and depending on the issues involved, a council decision often takes some time and may require negotiation and compromise.

4. Documentation

Prepare comprehensive drawings and specifications to define the details and technicalities of construction, quality, materials, finishes and workmanship, for building approval and the construction contract.

5. Contractor selection

Source suitable builders for tendering, assess tender submissions, select preferred builder, prepare and sign contracts.

6. Contract administration

Oversee implementation of the building contract through to the end of the post construction period, by regular inspections, builder liaison and progress payment assessment.

Practical completion is when the construction is essentially complete and you are able to move in.

7. Post construction

One year after practical completion, inspect the project and finalise the builder's contract.

"Find a spot on the globe that you can claim as your own and build what will be a home"

- Source anonymous

New space for a young inner suburban family

South view

A major renovation and extension of a Victorian era house. Located in inner suburban North Fitzroy, we created a modern design for a 3 bedroom family home, that in the process, overcame a multitude of obstacles. There was the small site, budget considerations, issues with government planning controls of heritage, overlooking, overshadowing and sustainability, and for the buildng permit "performance solution" requirements. In the end we achieved a quality place for living, with lots of light, ventilation, winter sunshine and plenty of space.

With the design work and permits are now complete, the physical work starts. This is the final progression into the creation of a home. Watch how the build unfolds - to be continued...

before demolition rear view demolition started demolition completed and front retained preparation for concrete slab concrete just poured partial erection of steel structure
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