The existing house suffered from the usual issues of older inner city houses on small lots: a lack of flow and poor connection with the outdoors.
In this case the rear yard was a full 2 metres below street level and the single level floor plate. The landlocked living room with a tiny window facing a brick wall 1 metre away was separated from the yard by a Kitchen/Dining space and a narrow sunroom.
Taking advantage of this change in level, the renovation digs into the land at the level of the rear yard, to create one large living space at the lower level, with a new bedroom, ensuite and study slotted in above this 4 metre high volume. The bedroom and study include high level windows that open up to the sky borrow from the tree canopies on neighbouring properties.
The new living volume expands into the width of original unused sloping passage up the north side of the house employing a skylight and slot window to echo its original existence. The two original front rooms are given new French doors opening up onto a new deck over the original side passage creating ‘balconies’ that augment these rooms.
The space really comes alive when furnished with beautiful contemporary and mid-century furniture designs – lending an authenticity to the tricky yet simple geometries.