Cedar House is an addition to a weatherboard Edwardian which embraces the sun and outdoors. The owners and their children had outgrown their home and an existing 1980s addition had become dated and dysfunctional. To correct these issues while making the most of the long, unusually-shaped block with dual street access, we removed the existing extension and created a two-storey addition opening onto a pool and outdoor space.
Bedrooms, a separate lounge and a renovated bathroom are housed in the original home, while a new kitchen, pantry and living area are tucked under the original roofline. A new dining area, laundry and powder room unfurl off the original home, wrapping around the pool and deck and connecting the home to a rear garage to realise the benefits of the dual-access site.
As you enter the home, you glimpse the new open space and outdoor areas at the rear, drawing you through to a dramatic, full-length skylight which marks the connection between old and new. The skylight brings natural light into the centre of this important family space while simultaneously honouring the roofline of the original home.
The addition favours the southern boundary to leave as much space as possible for north-facing living spaces and the outdoor area, but a sliver of garden is retained to ensure the neighbour solar access. The gable-roofed addition also minimises overshadowing to the southern neighbour.
This garden to the south helps the dining area feel like it's surrounded by greenery. Openable windows are designed to draw cool breezes through the house, while their lowered head height focuses your eye on the greenery and protects the owners' privacy from the neighbours.
Just like the work triangle in a kitchen, a triangular relationship between the kitchen, dining and outdoor area helps to create an indoor-outdoor lifestyle for the owners. Large glass sliding doors allow opens the dining area seamlessly onto the deck, while a servery window and breakfast bar connect the kitchen to the outdoors. Even the laundry enjoys a view over the pool and outdoor space, making those must-do domestic duties less of a chore.
Conceived as a finely-crafted cedar box, the upper level floats above the open-plan living spaces. The cedar wraps around the upper level, becoming the soffit and ceiling of the dining area below. The upper level also overhangs the lower level to the north to provide sun protection and create a covered outdoor space. In fact, when the sliding doors are open, the whole dining area feels like a covered outdoor space, blurring the boundary between inside and out.
The upper level is the children's domain. With two bedrooms, a bathroom and a retreat space with kitchenette, this dedicated space will afford the kids some privacy and offer them their own living zone as they become young adults.
What were the key challenges?
Dealing with the unusual shape of the site and a heritage overlay were challenging. While there was an existing garage to the rear and this streetscape has a range of building types from utilitarian garages and rear fences to facades from various eras, the heritage overlay applied to the whole property.
Key products used:
External materials :
- cedar shiplap cladding
-commercial aluminium windows and doors
-sashless sliding windows
-corian outdoor benchtop
-custom metal window
-grey ironbark posts
-external motorised blinds
Internal materials :
-oak timber flooring
-cedar ceiling lining
-caesar stone benchtops
-evenex and duropal on joinery
-crystal chandeliers to renovation of period rooms and bathroom
-artemide wall lights
-giffin design pendant light
-led downlights and strip lighting
-porcelain tiles to bathrooms and laundry
-bisazza mosaic tiles to bathroom
What were the solutions?
To deal with the heritage overlay, we retained the original Edwardian and focussed new works to the rear where they can not be seen from the front street. The gabled roof form of the rear addition helps new elements fit into the area. The rear addition is also set back from the street to reduce visual bulk. Material choice was also important with the cedar acting as a modern equivalent to the weatherboard homes in the area.
What are the sustainability features?
The project includes photovoltaic cells to generate its own energy and solar heating for the pool. With great solar orientation to make the most of the sun and breezes, combined with double-glazing and plenty of insulation the home stays naturally warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Underground water tanks are located under the deck which collect rainwater for reuse in the garden and to top up the swimming pool.