Camera Lucida by Anya Moryoussef Architect

Anya Moryoussef Architect was entrusted with the task of reimagining a Victorian semi that had been the clients’ home for over three decades into the Camera Lucida. The couple, now working from home full-time, aimed to transform their tall, dark, drafty Victorian residence into a space fit for their present and future without sacrificing its character. The challenge lay in integrating modern living into the Victorian framework while preserving its essence.
The existing house, though rich in detail and memories, was narrow, imposing, and not always comfortable. AMA approached the renovation with a strategy of unraveling, uncovering, and re-envisioning rather than starting anew. In collaboration with the contractor, the interior was methodically deconstructed to its studs, with a focus on retaining and salvaging existing features. Upgrades were made to enhance comfort and energy efficiency, including new windows and radiant in-floor heating.
The principal intervention involved the creation of seven strategically placed apertures, named ‘Camera Lucida,’ which altered the spatial relationships within the house. These interventions played with light and views, breaking down strict Victorian edges and illuminating darker areas. The house’s proportion, order, and structure were maintained, expressed through different materials like salvaged pine flooring and kiln-fired manganese brick tiles.
The result is a nuanced blend of old and new, where historic elements coexist with modern interventions. Original moldings peek through unexpected incisions, creating a familiar yet unexpected experience. The colors and materials, reminiscent of a Victorian home, are renewed by contemporary technology. The play of light and shadows reframes the inhabitants’ experience, blurring the line between the familiar and the unexpected.
The revitalized house, named ‘Camera Lucida,’ stands as a testament to the thoughtful integration of modernity into a historical context, offering a harmonious blend of comfort, character, and innovation.

Photography by Doublespace

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Anya Moryoussef was entrusted with the task of reimagining a Victorian semi that had been the clients' home for over three decades into the Camera Lucida...

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