Sitting quietly within one of Melbourne’s iconic heritage streetscapes, the historic collection of buildings that made up the existing conditions at Ackmans House had several lives before its present iteration. The circa 1860s site was originally industrially occupied before becoming a home emporium bearing the name ‘Ackmans House,’ part of the property holdings of the Ackman furniture group. Later, it was adapted into commercial office spaces that stripped away those design gestures that would have carried an enduring story of place. “None of the design responses post its original use really respected the character, volume, texture, materials and history of the building,” Rob Kennon acknowledges. This defined an intent to reinstate, evolve and celebrate them.