Extending the existing Victorian house on a corner site the project reinterprets the bay windows and scale and arrangement of internal spaces to create a new contemporary kitchen and living spaces at the rear of the existing house.
The dark stained curvilinear timber wall continues the line of the facade and creates a shadow of the original house that sits discreetly in the garden. A large curved glass window and bench seat in the kitchen and two large sliding windows create contemporary bay window arrangements where the residents can sit in the sun and view the garden.
The positioning of windows allows sun to enter from morning to late afternoon into all living spaces. Filtered through trees and entering from different windows into the same space creates continually changing light conditions marking the passage of time throughout the day and tracing the functional arrangement of spaces.
Respecting the heritage character of the area the extension is seen from the street as a band of dark timber allowing the existing house and landscaping to define the primary character of the house. Thickened walls gives the addition a sense of mass, creates deep reveals in the openings and conceals a storeroom and houses the fireplace.
A new slate roof and wide oak floorboards throughout the entire house ties together the old and the new and connects the once separate flat and garage to the rear of the property consolidating various additions to the house into one highly functional dwelling.
The open plan living and new kitchen reorient the living spaces and replaces a series of separate rooms to allow light, air and a strengthened connection with the garden. Quality materials and highly considered detailing continue the appreciation of craft and materiality visible in the existing house.
Questions and Answers
Q. Highlighting any unusual aspects, what was the brief provided to you?
The existing house was a beautiful heritage house on a corner site in Albert Park, Melbourne. The kitchen and laundry were tucked away in the back corner with poor orientation and natural light. The challenge was to rework the rear of the house to provide contemporary living spaces, improve the connection to the rear garden whilst maintaining a continuity of space, proportion and mass of the original house.
Q. What are the elements of the project contributing towards sustainability (in all its forms)?
The new arrangement of living spaces creates a more desirable orientation to the north and through the use of a contemporary bay window arrangement captures the east and western sun. A new skylight over the study and in the bathroom provides additional light in the darker areas of the house.
Large opening provides ample cross ventilation whilst the thick double layer of insulation in the walls and double glazing controls the temperature minimising the use of mechanical heating or cooling. Hydronic heating panels are integrated into the window seats to provide localised heating in sitting areas. New floor and ceiling insulation was installed and the existing corrugated iron roof removed and replaced with a new slate was used to reinstate the original slate roof.
Low VOC paint, LED lighting, FSC certified engineered floor boards and energy efficient appliances and tapware improve the sustainability of the existing house.
An underground water tank provides rain water for the garden and a provision for solar hot water heating has been allowed. Large bluestone threshold stones have been re-used to create threshold steps at the glazed sliding doors of the new extension.
Q. Could you highlight anything unusual or interesting about the construction of the project – including materials and techniques?
The sense of mass of the rear of the house was created by designing thickened timber framed walls, up to 600mm deep which accommodated services, bench seats, storage and sliding pocket doors and windows whilst providing an additional layer of insulation. Q. Who worked on the project?
The project was a collaboration between Thomas Winwood Architecture and Kontista & Co who were based in Sydney.