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Renovation project is a revival of late modernist homes

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This extensive renovation integrates late modernist style with modern technologies and design

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Architect: Architect: Steffen Welsch Architects
Photography: Rhiannon Slatter

Continuum is a revival of a late modernist home in suburban Doncaster. Our practice viewed this project as “departure with a sense of continuity”, with the idea that any new design is derived from a pre-existing condition.
The renovation was called to resolve matters insufficiently addressed in the original design: thermal comfort, family dynamics, privacy needs, relationship with landscape, connectivity and future use. We investigated the shortcomings of the original scheme while acknowledging the cultural responsibility to the sensibilities of its architectural vocabulary and suburban context.
The original plan appeared open and fluid yet restricted activities to small confined rooms. The architectural language was strong but could not camouflage planning inefficiencies: zoning was outdated; internal links were complicated, external spaces were insufficiently defined, hard to access or under-developed.

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Our solution was integration and fragmentation. We consolidated and reinforced the existing fabric as a shield from the street to deal with noise, pollution, heat, and weather, and dissolved (fragmented) the rear to accommodate family activities (study, work, sport, entertaining, communing, resting, meals) simultaneously.
The retention and expansion of the existing plan and thoughtful interpretation of the embedded architectural vocabulary anchor the unpretentious original dwelling in the neighbourhood while adding a new identity to the original scheme.

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