Heritage home update balances traditional and current influences

Looks can be deceiving – that's definitely the case here. Hiding behind this historic villa's traditional facade is a much more modern home, thanks to its contemporary extension

Designed by Creative Arch

Designer statement:

Located in Morningside, this home is situated on a street full of historic villas. This project focuses on the renovation of a 1900’s character villa, and the addition of a contemporary extension, which sits comfortably within the streetscape.

The brief was to replace a recent small addition to the rear of the house with an expansive, open-plan extension that accommodates entertaining. The new addition incorporates living spaces, kitchen, scullery, dining and outdoor living.


In order to retain the character of the neighbourhood, the facade to the street has been faithfully restored. The approach taken in the design if the addition vastly contrasts this treatment. The decision was made to treat the additions as bold contrast to the existing villa, in order to celebrate the difference between heritage and contemporary.

To that end, materials were chosen for their contrast with the original bevel back weatherboards. Stained vertical cedar cladding sits against exposed shuttered concrete chimneys, steel posts and black aluminium joinery. Internally, aspects of the villa are continues through and evolved, with high ceilings adjoining a pop-up roof over the kitchen and a gently raking ceiling over the living space.

Overall, the choices made over the design process stem from not trying to replicate traditional forms, but by using them as a point of reference.

A pop-up roof over the kitchen/dining space provides a transition between the high stud of the original home and the addition, and also serves to allow ample light into the space without affecting privacy between neighbours. Bifold doors out to the exterior decks give a sense of space and flow, and a water feature provides tranquility.

Nov 02, 2018
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