Raised expectations

A master stroke of this renovation, a mini tower addition gains rooms and turns a modest suburban bungalow into a versatile courtyard home

Renovation by Those Architects

From the architects:

The site 

A 1950s single-storey brick bungalow on an oddly shaped, sloping site in the leafy Sydney suburb of Lane Cove.

The brief. With their family outgrowing the quaint mid-century bungalow, our homeowners wanted a bedroom for each of their two young girls and a rumpus room, separate but still connected to the living area. 

Outside they wanted a small swimming pool and more meaningful connections to the garden.

The architect’s response

Our approach was to remove a poorly designed existing add-on at the rear, but retain and revive the original charm-filled bungalow. 

We added a new brick ‘tower’ at the rear western corner, which occupies only a small footprint but delivers considerable extra space: two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, plus a rumpus, laundry and guest bathroom downstairs.

The tower reconfigures the house into an L-shape, helping it hinge entirely around a new north-facing courtyard, which is accessed from both the living room and rumpus. 

Because it’s anchored to the western boundary, the tower opens the living area up to north light, and captures district views to the city from its new bedrooms.

In response to the tower, we sculpted the sloping site, using one wall of the new raised swimming pool to encapsulate the courtyard as a sheltered central ‘place’, where the main living/kitchen area (of the old house) and the rumpus (in the tower) connect.

Robust materials of brick and exposed concrete bring both harmony and contrast to the bungalow, while new hardwood flooring bridges the old and new interiors. 

Restored original details include elaborate cornices, a Juliette balcony and circular bay window in the main bedroom. 

The rounded lines of these Art Deco features became a motif for new details we introduced, including the tower’s bullnosed brick corners and timber balustrade, and the living room’s sculpted ceiling which unfolds under a vaulted skylight, to gently bathe the room in light.

Sustainable design features. 

Solar control – main windows are oriented north under wide eaves. The tower addition blocks harsh western sun. 

Cross ventilation – principal rooms have dual windows open to the north-easterly breeze. The south side is shut down from the south-westerlies. 

Thermal mass – concrete floors and brick walls help passively heat and cool the house year-round.

Credit list

Harrison & Morris Consultancy
Felicity Ng
Doors and windows
Aluminium, powdercoat finish, colour; Black Satin Night Sky, by B&W Windows
Pool interior
Pebblesheen pool shell, in Arctic White, by Skypebble,
Tretford Goats Hair Carpet – Silver Birch, Magenta and Evergreen, from Gibbon Group
Elba Marble benchtops, by Artedomus
Cabinet door hardware
Parisi external and internal door hardware, by Parisi
Pendants – Nelson Bubble Lamps; wall lights – Dioscuri Parete, Soffitto and Microsurf White, by Artemide; general – iSTART / SRA 68 Recessed, from JSB Lighting
Regency Wood Heater, from Abbey Fireplaces
Dining funriture
Thonet S32 Dining Chairs, by Anibou; table, homeowner's own; ceramics from The DEA Store; Capri Kilem Rug, by Rouse Phillips Studio; Muuto Baskets, from Living Edge
Dita Stool, by Grazia and Co
Moroso Net Table, from Hub Furniture; Ceramics, from The DEA Store
Outdoor furniture
Hay Pallisade table and chairs, by Cult; Tait Volley table and chairs, by Tait
Harding & Lindsay Building
ITM Design
Face Brickwork, Gertrudis Brown by Austral Bricks; Rough Cast Render – left natural
Pool deck
Honed concrete; Pebblesheen pool shell, Artic White - Skypebble,
Blackbutt timber, by Hardwood Flooring; Bona Naturale finish, by Bona; Terrazzo floor tiles, Marengo Honed, from Surface Gallery; Winkleman’s Tiles, Pistachio and Black, from Olde English Tiles
Painted plasterboard; colour – Fair Bianca Half, by Dulux; Matte White Square Tiles, from Academy Tiles
Kitchen cabinetry
Custom designed by Those Architects, built by Luke Geercke Cabinet Makers
Sussex, Matte Black and Chrome, by Sussex
Linen curtains, a selection; Amalfi in colour Fog, by Warwick,
Outdoor furniture
Living room furniture
Sofa, homeowner's own; Kartel Invisible Table and Vitra Cork Family Stool, both from Space Furniture; cushions, Cushions, from Hay Store
Rumpus furniture
Quadrant Sofa, from Koskela; Paulistano armchair, from Hub Furniture; Cushions, from Hay Store; Eileen Gray Side Table, by Anibou; Louis Poulsen AJ floor lamp, from Cult; Flos Snoopy table lamp, by Euroluce
Loose items from The Hay Store

Designed by: Those Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Luc Remond

15 Aug, 2021

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