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Heritage home is transformed by modern addition at the rear

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Classic Victorian terrace home is restored and renovated with a new contemporary three-level building at the back, including a glass-walled lightwell and glass elevator

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This traditional home has been transformed with the addition of a three-level addition at the rear. The project, by designer Jason Klumpp, is a master class in bringing a wealth of space and natural light into an otherwise, dark, narrow site.

"The brief was essentially to transform the worst house in the street into the best house in the street," says Klumpp. "The original terrace home was a single storey, two-room house built circa 1887, with a second storey comprising two additional rooms added in 1902. Further work was undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s, and then again in the 1970s.

"However, the additions had compromised the look and flow of the home, which had also become severely dilapidated. It fell to us to rationalise the layout and remove below par existing work. Only the early two-storey building was considered to have heritage significance."

But streamlining the existing home was only half the story, the client wanted Klumpp to design a contrasting modern rear addition that would maximise usable floor space on the tight site and bring in natural light and ventilation.

"The upgrade had to include a master suite and a guest suite along with comfortable living areas and a home office, along with off-street parking for two cars," says Klumpp.

"We set the clean-lined addition down half a floor from the original home, and introduced a circulation volume that included stairs and a glass lift – to form a breathing space between the new building and the cottage. The central connecting space has a skillion roof and louvred windows, bringing sunlight and fresh air into what's now the centre of the home."

As part of the new construction and bringing in more light, a triple-height conservatory was added along the side boundary. This long, narrow room has board-formed concrete walls and a glass end wall that overlooks the back garden. The conservatory has a glass roof at this end but then drops to a double-height white ceiling in the middle, where the master ensuite cantilevers over it. And at its innermost end, the conservatory is open to the stars – essentially forming a small internal courtyard adjacent to the circulation space.

The heritage home was comprehensively restored, in fact all but rebuilt, as so much of the century-plus old wood was compromised. The Victorian architectural detailing was repaired or, in the case of the verandah, surviving pieces of balustrade fretwork lacing were copied and replicated afresh but with extra height to meet today's more stringent compliance codes.

Clean, crisp design lines, including a bold red rectilinear Alucobond form on the rear facade and a similar element in the side conservatory, give the new addition a contemporary presence, both contrasting and complementing the more ornate lines of the original building.

There are, however, cross-overs between the heritage home and the modern aspects of the design. Wood floors run throughout the home, while all bathrooms, new or modernised, have classic touches such as a freestanding tub. The conservatory also has metal grilles that reveal peaks of the brickwork of the home next door.

In terms of logical room allocation, the guest suite and ensuite is located on the upper floor of the heritage building, with a sitting room and gym on the ground floor. The new building has the master suite and ensuite on the upper floor, a living area and connected study on the mid floor, and kitchen and dining on the ground floor, opening to the garden. A sunken garage with landscaped roof was added to the rear lane.

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First published date: 14 December 2017

Credit List

Designer Jason Klumpp, Tyrrells Architects (now at Studio 23 Design)
Builder Felsch Developments
Interior designer and kitchen designer Shellee Gordoun Interiors
Kitchen manufacturer Carve Interiors
Landscape design William Dangar
Cladding Alucobond
Roof Colorbond Spandek on addition and galvanised corrugated steel on heritage building
Window/door joinery Sublime Aluminium and Glass
Window/door hardware Lama by Olivari from Access Hardware , satin finish
Main flooring Wildwood Fire Pit oak
Tiles Bisanna, Artedomus
Stone in living areas Pepperoni Grigio Scuro, honed, by Bisanna Tiles
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA)Homes – Winner