Following the removal of a previous extension from the rear of a late 1960’s home, the project frames an interconnected setting for family life occurring both indoors and outdoors. Site constraints such as a diagonal site fall of 5.5m and overbearing neighbouring houses were addressed to maximise amenity. The starting point also included recent work by the client to bench the site and incorporate a pool.
The original house was an ugly duckling in the streetscape, however the owners wanted to avoid demolishing their home, preferring for it to evolve and reach its potential. Out of place alterations were removed and complimentary detail elements added, including a balustrade and eaves pergola. New work between the house and street creates a semi-public realm emphasising pedestrian exploration, detail scaled character, and structured landscaping.
The rear two-storey extension is ordered as three zones running towards the back of the site. Two of these continue the communal areas of the original house, including the timber and white palette. The middle zone extends the existing circulation line, expanding to a narrow double height volume that provides connectivity with the parent’s area above, unexpected natural light, and generous spatial qualities. This long circulation line has been given coloured tiled walls marking each end with an emotive attribute, influenced by the mosaic tiled balcony of the existing house.
The third zone running the along the site is a landscape focused courtyard, with a captured garden, lawn space and open Dining room. The garden provides natural light and an intricate visual focus at the centre of the plan. The view above is directed over the existing gable to the tree-line beyond.
Laid perpendicular across these linear zones are two spaces contrasted by their charcoal colour and concrete floor. Within the main extension, this forms the kitchen, and outside of this a Dining space uses doors that stack behind brickwork to become part of the semi-outdoor zone. A pergola above runs inside and out below the roofline, forming a permeable space framing occupation that continues to the lawn.
The new brick base compliments the mottled red bricks visible on the original rear elevation. These combine with custom breezebricks and brick paving bands to define a territory for occupation. The breezebrick perimeter filters views to the neighbour while framing a courtyard that gives the house its moniker.
Beyond the extension, a basketball court is enlivened with a supergraphics mural. The semi semi-circle of the shooters key became a starting point for a geometric language continued into the landscape with precast concrete elements. Here at the rear of site, the extension’s exterior becomes legible. Above the brick base, a light-coloured upper level sits to one side. The pitch and width of half of the original gable has been rotated to establish the upper roof geometry. At the ridge, the roof then turns down steeply to navigate setback restrictions, before the metal sheeting continues down the wall to create a blank face to a neighbouring veranda built to the boundary.
Architect - Cloud-Dwellers
Landscape Architect - Duncan Gibbs