The clients came to us via the local building company Sustainable Homes Melbourne. Liz and Ian described their attraction to the idea of ensuring the renovation incorporated sustainable practices, resulting in a low energy consuming, efficient home. Along with the fundamental passive solar design measures incorporated into the design, additional measures such as the use of PV cells, utilising rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing, double glazing etc. would ensure the building was practical and efficient to run. The form of the building also allows for effective passive solar sun shading. Rather than building a box that a sun shade is then added onto, we designed the walls and roof to continue past the adjacent wall which makes for a cleaner aesthetic, allows for privacy from the close neighbours while efficiently shielding the hot western sun.

  Overhang shielding the hot western sun

The colour scheme developed around the idea of continuing the feel of light, spaciousness and connection to outdoors. The intention was that a paired back palette would allow for flexibility and longevity for the different times and ages that the client’s daughter and other people live there. Due to the ambiguity of who would be living in the house, we wanted to create spaces that were enjoyable, light and interesting, allowing anyone to be able to come in and incorporate their own taste. In the living areas, timber and ply dominates. Splashes of colour are found in the splashback and terracotta pendants hanging above the island bench.

Splashes of colour seen in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom

Few views of the house allow the exterior of the home to be seen. The house is more so experienced from inside, viewing out. The cladding selections aligned with this less common way the house was experienced. Externally, the central courtyard was clad in timber lining boards. The extent of timber cladding in the courtyard makes the space feel very warm and inviting. Liz, Ian and their daughter Cat are very keen gardeners, so the space will soon be very green.

The intersecting faces of the courtyard clad in timber lining boards

For the outer walls, we opted for a low maintenance, raw finish cement sheeting product. The cement sheeting works well on the boundary walls and pairs well with the timber elements such as the windows, doors and decking.

      Cement sheet cladding seen from the rear lane behind the site

The driving force of the project was to not just add a two-storey bulk extension at the rear of the site but incorporate close views of gardens along with longer views of the neighbourhood, distant city and sky. The resulting design of the house creates a quality of light and spaciousness which was a priority identified by the clients in the initial stages of the design process and a strong contrast to the existing house. Returning to the sustainable driving force of the project, passive solar design measures ensured a strong relationship to nature, the sun and natural light, which is often missing in traditional terrace houses, that are always dark, often damp and insular. Overall, the project was kept simple, pragmatic and honest. The clients Liz and Ian were an absolute pleasure to work with and Sustainable Homes Melbourne did a fantastic job.

  The north facing aspect of the upper level master bedroom

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Gardiner Architects in Uncategorized