Monthly Archives

February 2018

Passive Systems
For this project, just as in all of our projects, a range of passive solar design practices were applied to the scheme. When considered in the initial design phase, they can be quite straightforward. The large expanse of glazing is facing north toward the sun. An overhang at 63 degrees shades the glazing to let the winter sun in while blocking out summer sun. A pergola structure snakes around the side of the building. It becomes larger on the western side to shade lower western sun. The form of the sun shading reflects how you’d naturally use the space at different times of the day. Where the overhang widens, a shadier, cool spot is created that can be used in warmer weather.

RG927c_0037Above: The North facing glazing screen by the pergola structure

Read more →

Maximising Space Efficiency
More often than not, the thing that drives budget is building area. The cheapest scheme always involves less building. Being smart about the planning, means reusing repurposed space in a simple way to allow for less building area. The other driver is the complexity of construction. The chosen scheme did more in less building and encompassed quite a simple structure over the top with the amount of external walls limited i.e. not too many ‘ins and outs.’ We didn’t really change the main fabric of the existing house. We treated the old and new as two distinct areas. Budget-wise, this was an important approach.

201504_WEBSITE PLANS_170419Above: The finalised plan. The area to the east is the existing cottage with a new bathroom, laundry and ensuite extension. To the west is the new area with kitchen, dining, living and study areas connecting to the north facing garden.

Read more →

The Clients
The clients for this project were a couple living in Brunswick with their two young children. Originally, their issue was that they had relatively modest requirements, partly due to money, but also because they wanted to be sustainable. They saw the benefit in opting for a small footprint. The clients had previously worked on an initial design with a different architect that didn’t provide a satisfactory outcome. The other architect had designed quite a large, two-storey renovation which, by the time it was priced, was twice their budget. The clients were really disappointed and so the first discussion with us was – “Well, it may be a nice design, but we really don’t want to build something that’s twice our budget.”

RG927c_0029Above: The front yard of the Allan Street Cottage
Read more →