A contemporary extension to a 2 storey terrace makes optimal use of the northerly aspect, and creates a quiet safe haven to the rear of the property with Bridport St frontage. Natural materials, and sense of scale and light make this extension family friendly and easily connected to the outdoor spaces surrounding the informal living spaces.
The use of a restrained aesthetic for the contemporary addition sits comfortably against the renovated terrace, which provides the more formal entertaining spaces and master suite. The small juliet balcony creates connections with the upstairs activities and is a point of interest when viewed from the kitchen and BBQ courtyard.
Siutated on a main street this house was intended as an urban escape.
Above all it wanted to be comfortable, inviting, light, airy and maintenance friendly whilst also allowing specifically designed moments of surprise and delight providing a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of inner city life.
The site has many limitations characteristic of residential terraces, with long and thin boundaries being hedged in by large intertenancy walls that made the existing house dreary and enclosed. This, combined with onerous historical building restrictions and previous unsympathetic alterations, meant the architects had their work cut out for them. In all instances the architects turned these negatives into positives, embracing both the heritage and eclectic fabric of the neighbourhood.
The architects have consciously used the Victorian-era compartmentalisation of rooms to their advantage by keeping more cosy activities in the original drawing and dining rooms. The traditional connection to the street verandah is maintained, as are the cosy ground floor formal living and dining spaces.
Where possible, the architects have respectfully chosen restoration rather than demolition, thoughfully preserving the existing decorative archways, fireplaces and cornicing that are typical of high Victorian grandeur. The working areas of the house: laundry, powder room and a service courtyard, are placed in the interstitial areas between old and new. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom including a generous master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom. The bedroom to the rear has a balcony that looks back into the light-filled central courtyard.
“The rear is a contemporary incarnation of the front. It is more open to the elements and breaks down the compartmentalisation of the Victorian house, yet it still has designated spaces in an open plan,” says Gibson. The new-open plan footprint is designed to maximise northern light.
The central courtyard pulls light deep into the plan and becomes a passage between old and new. The existing intertenancy blockwork and brick walls are utilised to contain the courtyard and will eventually be covered in vines. The kitchen and dining table run parallel with the light courtyard. The family lounge opens up to the rear courtyard and expands in height. A garage and sleepout backs on to a laneway and encloses the private rear courtyard.