The vacant site on an inner city laneway had many challenges with five adjoining neighbours and an easement running diagonally across the centre of this 11 x 14m property.
A three bedroom house was required, built over two levels with the living areas on the top floor to maximize natural light. Optimising the site while not overlooking or overshadowing the neighbours was a major challenge.
The building infills a line of garages running along the laneway. Constructed in a similar form but with the more refined materials of glazed bricks and zinc cladding, the façade hints at the domestic life behind. A screen of irregular timber planks and vertical battens forms a capping around the first floor terrace, softening the hard edge of the brickwork and echoing creeper-clad lattice topping neighbouring fences. The materials are deliberately understated in appearance, appropriate to the laneway setting.
A timber stair set diagonally in plan links the two floors and draws you up to the light of the open planned living areas at first floor level. The timber balustrade extends to the first floor ceiling, to become a dividing screen on the upper floor.
The first floor living, dining and kitchen open onto the generous terrace shaded by a deep canopy, offering views of the neighbouring treetops and city buildings.
The three ground floor bedrooms open onto a courtyard which has been landscaped to provide a delightful Japanese inspired garden, providing a tranquil outlook and plenty of sunlight into these rooms. Light from this courtyard penetrates to the master bedroom ensuite and dressing room at the back of the site through internal windows that employ switchable glass to provide privacy when required.
The kitchen of this Victorian house needed an update and a better connection to the adjacent family living and dining area. While no structural changes were proposed, the challenge was to provide a light –filled and larger kitchen in the same confined, low - ceilinged space.
The key to the new design was moving the cooking area to the external wall with a new aluminium framed window above, dramatically increasing the light in the kitchen while reducing the direct view to the neighbour’s window. This allowed the removal of the overhead cupboards between the kitchen and living room, instantly increasing the light and connection between the spaces.
A generous curved island bench projects into the adjacent dining area and the kitchen ceiling has been extended past the original wall line, to visually link the two spaces.
Open timber shelves have been used to integrate the kitchen into the adjoining rooms, with a new timber bookshelf in the living room a warm addition to that space.
Elsternwick House 1
A contemporary addition
to a solid Victorian.
Blessed with a
generous block of land, the approach to this addition was to separate it almost
entirely from the original Victorian house – to acknowledge and celebrate the
difference in lifestyle between the two eras.
Three of the four original
rooms were retained as a formal living room and two bedrooms, while the fourth
was divided into an ensuite bathroom and a study. A single storey glazed link leads to the new two storey
addition of informal living areas at ground level and two bedrooms and
bathrooms at first floor level.
A dramatic central
stair divides the ground floor into living and dining areas, and channels north
light into both levels.
Externally the new
building is painted bagged brickwork, similar to the existing front section of
the house, but the second storey is expressed as a continuous strip of timber
windows sitting above the solid base. A low pitched roof with wide eaves
protects the upper floor windows.
The addition is completely
contemporary, full of light and with simple detailing, yet sits comfortably
with and respects the original house.
Glen Iris House
A family house on a sloping site with city views and Japanese touch.
The client’s initial brief was for a family house that embodied their two favourite built forms – the lightness of Japanese buildings and the solidity of North African architecture. The design solution was agreed upon at that initial meeting, with the top floor a light filled timber framed structure under a low pitched spreading roof, sitting on a solid masonry base with raked walls and punched window openings.
A nearly square site lead to an angled L -shaped plan, creating a north facing garden which took advantage of the views. The entrance at the intersection of the two wings, is at the mid level between the two floors. Enclosed in a timber and obscure glass screen, the decidedly Japanese entry hall leads to two separate stairs. The stair to the left of the hall seat leads down to the children’s zone on the lower level and right hand stair rises up past the timber wedge to the family living areas and parents zone on the upper floor.
The top floor has a continuous strip of timber framed windows around both wings, bringing light into the house and connecting all areas with the garden. The light is controlled by timber shutters and blinds internally and externally, allowing direct or dappled light throughout the house. The kitchen is located in the centre of the house at the top of the stairs, with louvred openings into the hallway allowing it to open to the view or closed for privacy when entertaining. The large living/dining room opens onto an angled balcony at the end of the living zone, providing a treetop retreat.
An Edwardian cottage given a new life.
original timber cottage in the streetscape of similar houses, the front four
rooms were retained as bedrooms and a family bathroom while a new contemporary
living area and first floor master bedroom suite was constructed at the rear.
In this case,
materials and details are consistent with the existing house, but modern
requirements such as large areas of glass at ground floor level fit easily into
this form. The new living rooms are filled with light
throughout the day, despite their easterly aspect. At first floor level,
windows are located strategically to maximize light, cross ventilation and
period details at the front of the house give way to a simplified aesthetic at
the rear, linked by the warmth of the timber flooring throughout. The
contemporary materials and fittings of the kitchen and bathrooms offer a
contrast to the Edwardian detailing, highlighting the individual beauty of both.
Art Deco Addition
interpretation of the spirit of Deco.
1930s house required new family living areas to take advantage of the northern
aspect and to provide views and access to the rear garden. The strong Art Deco
design was the inspiration for a two storey addition to the rear of the house,
also providing a new master bedroom at first floor level.
The interplay of
horizontal lines and vertical elements in the original house was reinterpreted in
contemporary materials, with bands of black aluminium framed windows substituting
the white rendered bands of the original.
Curved corners and
the staircase in the existing house were echoed in the semi circular
termination of the first floor hallway, complete with a curved window and a pair
of sliding doors to the master
Elsternwick House 2
house with generous front rooms had a dark, low ceilinged 1970s addition with
limited connection to the large rear garden. The existing pool was built close
to the rear of the house and was to be retained, so a first floor addition was
required to provide the additional accommodation needed.
The existing rear
addition was demolished to slab level and a new two storey extension
constructed with living areas at ground floor level and a master bedroom suite
with study on the first floor. Two bay windows were added to the original
footprint, to create light filled living and dining areas, and connecting the
interior to the garden. Bifold doors open onto the new rear verandah,
recreating one aspect of the original house the owners loved.
flooring from the entry hall through to the new family living areas links the
original house with the new section. The bathrooms and kitchen feature
contemporary materials in natural tones, creating a warm and welcoming family