Boldly speaking

With its all-red interior, this kitchen marks the transition between the old and new elements of a traditional weatherboard villa

An exterior view of the home. door, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, white, black
An exterior view of the home.

Updating old villas to reflect modern lifestyles is a growth industry in the inner suburbs. And pushing out the back to create more space is probably the most common treatment.

But there is nothing common about the extension devised for this property. Architect Andrew Maynard says the owners originally envisioned an addition that would be the full width of the house. But that would have meant some of the living spaces would be dislocated from the yard.

"The alternative was to extend a wing along the southern boundary. This was a way to maximise solar energy to both the new and existing spaces, while allowing the living areas to virtually become part of the outdoors."

Maynard says lean-to additions were removed and the original house was restored to its simple, four-room plan. The new structure was designed to sit lightly beside it.


A view of the home before it was backyard, cottage, garden, home, house, outdoor structure, plant, property, real estate, shed, shrub, tree, yard
A view of the home before it was renovated.

"Rather than build a hard-edged or strongly defined object, the new structure has a blurred edge, with wood trellis screening. Recycled ironbark portals that frame the structure are of a larger, non-domestic scale, and were envisioned as a relic of a pre-industrial age, which would balance the vibrant, new addition. The extension slides between these large, robust landscaping elements, rather like a delicate, layered box."

To extend the living areas into the yard, the glazed walls are designed to open like garage doors, lifting and folding horizontally. When open, the trellised doors also provide a degree of shading and shelter.

"The house has been designed for passive energy," says Maynard. "Its orientation, for example, allows the lower sun in winter to heat the rooms, yet keeps it at bay during the summer."

A new kitchen links the old and new elements its transitional role highlighted in the design.

An exterior view of the home. door, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, white, black
An exterior view of the home.

"The kitchen was conceived as a small red box both its shape and colour acknowledge its status as a linking device," says Maynard. "With its lower ceiling, it also works to compress the space at this point, enabling the extension to open up as you move through the house."

When viewed from the extension, the kitchen box appears slotted into a glazed wall, which allows views of the existing weatherboard house.

"The design needed to be legible," says Maynard. "The glazing sets up a dialogue between the old and the new, allowing you to read both spaces. It's a very honest approach to the design."

Jan 19, 2007

Credit list

Builder
Enviroline Builders
Glazed fold-up doors
Paints
Dulux
Benchtops
Recycled timber studs from demolished extension
Tap
Reece
Dishwasher
Miele
Kitchen fit-out and custom joinery
Afterdark Design
Flooring
Recycled grey ironbark boards
Kitchen cabinetry
Marine ply stained with black Japan
Sink
Blanco
Oven and ventilation
Smeg
Refrigeration
Fisher & Paykel
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