Part renovated, part brand new, this home features a central lounge that opens up to both the front and rear yards

This architectural home with its over-aching roof forms and see-through heart is the result of a comprehensive renovation and extension – hard to believe the residence had its origins in the 1970s

The greenest house is one that’s already built is a saying that is appropriate for this comprehensive renovation by architect Taras Wolf. However, utilising the good bones of the home was only half the story.

“The owners’ existing 1970s-built home had become too small for their growing family despite it already having had some renovations along the way, including to the existing kitchen. Plus they needed a home office,” says Wolf.

“it was decided to renovate rather than start anew – so utilising the earlier work. Our full renovation started small but grew and grew as more ambitious ideas emerged – the budget was fairly open.”

The final renovation meant tweaking and improving the existing bedrooms, kitchen and dining area on the left hand side of the home, and transforming the master suite on the right hand side. Plus a new living room with connected piano room takes centre stage, and a large brand new wing was added front right for the studio and garage.

​​​​​​​Pizza anyone? The existing roof line of this teal
​​​​​​​Pizza anyone? The existing roof line of this now renovated home had the look of a Pizza Hutt store, as this before shot shows, while a carport and the existing master suite are seen at right.

Looking at the plans for the stretched central living volume, and given the large front and back yards, architect and owners decided to give the home a see-through quality by having large bifold doors at the front and rear of the living room space.

“The family had also found the 2.4m ceilings too low in the existing part of the home, so we wanted high ceilings in the rebuilt lounge and master suite area and for the studio/garage wing,” says Wolf.

However, a tricky aspect of the new design was how we treated the roof on the existing home and on the new wing. Often an addition is tucked away to the rear and quite modest. Here, the wing extension is seen right from the front path, so it required close thinking as to how to assimilate the new into the existing.

Plus the retained part of the existing home had an awkward Pizza Hut-look roof.

An over-arching pitch roof proved to be the solution to marry the old and new. This arrangement has one roof wrapped over the top of the other – a little like the Sydney Opera House.

“In our firm, there’s a saying we use often – Intelligent Design Management. This means that no matter how striking or singular an element, it has to perform more than one key function.”   

​​​​​​​From the rear of this renovated home, you
​​​​​​​From the rear of this renovated home, you can look into the master bathroom at left and into the rumpus room at far right. The central indoor-outdoor living space has a dramatic impact here, a great example of how the house looks different from different angles and at different times of day.

The new angled roof line – seen on the existing and new parts of the home, and on the studio/garage – blurs the line between old and new. This is in terms of both style and scale – the size of the new studio-garage wing being as substantial as the house itself. In addition, the tapered columns that appear as extensions of the roof forms double as pedestrian arches, which lead through to the new front door, set deeper into the reworked footprint.

In fact, there are two paths to the front door – to the left or right of the square of lawn – and columns on the corners of the two buildings indicate these options.

Another important consideration was the sequence for construction.

“The garage and studio were built first to allow the owners to live on-site while the following stages of construction proceeded,” says Wolf. 

“With the studio built, the open-plan living spaces were created, serving as a connective tissue between the existing building and new studio space.”

Lastly, the traditional brick veneer was updated to reflect the modern addition.

“While the final result is almost like a new house, I’m not sure that the result would have been better if we were given a brief to build a brand new house from the outset,” says the architect. “No doubt the design would have been somewhat different, but often having constraints and things to overcome actually makes for more interesting design.”

Credit list

Architect, kitchen designer, interior designer and landscape designer
Taras Wolf, Wolf Architects
Iron Bark timber; Hawthorn London Brick by Daniel Robertson
Windows and doors
Binq Hardwood Timber front door with multi-locking system and roller latch;Makeview windows and stackable doors
Main flooring
FSC Engineered timber
Daikin multi zone split system
Nick Scali Furniture; Keeki Furniture
Dynamic Glass
Armando Vicario
Kitchen sink
Vanity cabinetry and top
Nikpol Laminate
Basin and bath
Floors and walls
Perini tiles
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Renovation – Winner
TSP Developments
Llysaght Longline 305, shade grey;Alucabond Manhattan
Kitchen manufacturer
CK Joinery
Bosch HikVision 4k security camera system
Kitchen cabinetry
Nikpol Laminate
Kitchen walls
Kitchen sink
Waste disposal
Taps and shower fittings
Hot water systems
Caroma Liano

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Sophie Tomaras

26 Apr, 2020

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