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Californian split

With the front of this bungalow retaining its traditional charms, a renovation opens up the back for modern living – over two levels

Designed by Vanessa Wegner Architect

From the architect:

This is a renovation of a California bungalow in the leafy suburb of Longueville, Sydney.

The envelope of the original house was maintained and restored at the front with the new work concealed from the street frontage at the rear and side. 

The new bedroom and living areas gradually reveal themselves as one enters and moves through the house.

The concept of the verandah is taken from the front and celebrated at the rear to connect the new areas to the garden and the view over the valley and to provide a shady outdoor living space. 

The brick and timber detailing of the original is expressed in a new form at the rear, pairing well with the detail and solidity of the original bungalow.


The site had a significant cross fall that allowed us to integrate the new living areas on two levels yet with the appearance and feeling of a one storey dwelling – which was part of the homeowner's brief.

The site faces South at the rear so the new kitchen roof was tipped up to receive North Western light which it does in abundance while the more solid West facing living room has carefully proportioned openings with timber screens for the Western sun. 

The owners are thrilled with the house and said they rarely used a/c during the last summer.

Large water tanks are stored under the deck and connected to the pool and garden. 

The materials of the existing house were all maintained. 

The materials to the renovation are Austral "Chillingham white" face bricks, concrete floors, blackbutt decks, cedar ceilings and Rosewood (ethically sourced) timber framed windows and doors.

Credit list

Renovating architect
Builder
MJ Minard Builders
Engineer
Bvg Consulting

Designed by: Vanessa Wegner Architect

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Katherine Lu

08 May, 2022

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