The brief was to increase the size of the residence and retain a sense of landscape. Orientation of the residence meant that the existing kitchen and living spaces faced south missing the critical northern light. The clients, with a growing young family, wanted two new bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and a lounge. They also have a fairly extensive Aboriginal art collection and wanted wall space to display the work.
Our strategy for the project was to draw the extension around the perimeter of the site to create a new courtyard and expose the living area to the northern orientation. The hallway created by this planning approach was utilised as gallery space, expanding and restricting at points depending on the placement of the artwork. The new extension creates two different types of outdoor space; one being the more urban courtyard, the other is a more traditional suburban backyard space.
The Architectural concepts for the project are as follows:
- Ravelling / Unravelling – journey or unwinding of the plan around the site;
- Flexibility – The use of ambiguous space where a hallway is gallery, circulation and laundry in one. The new Living space is designed a flexible space that will change as the family grows;
- Embedded –The new extension is embedded into the existing house and also into the backyard space. Also, the service zones are embedded into the living and circulation spaces;
- Multiple readings – the landscape and back yard conceived as a collection of different spaces aligned across a diagonal axis.
Environmentally the project employs the following sustainability initiatives:
- Solar Hot water service;
- Double glazing, including replacing existing glazing for thermal control;
- Photo voltaic cells on the roof of the extension to generate electricity;
- 5000lt submerged water tank for rainwater harvesting;
- Large masonry infill panels to increase thermal mass;
- Low VOC materials;
- Recycled timbers;
- Water and energy efficient appliances;
- Inherent, low maintenance finishes;
- Drought tolerant plantings;
The realisation of a project such as this necessitates the employment of our practice’s idea about collaboration. The project involved a very close working relationship with the client, landscape architect, QS, structural engineer and builder. This working relationship produced a well considered result that exceeded the client’s brief in a cost effective manner.