Shuffle across

Built around 1920, time had made this house a shell of its former self but a recent face lift has given it a new lease on life
Story by: Anthony Coates
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An exterior view of the entrance way to the home.

One problem with the architecture of the early 20th century was that houses were often built on a site with little regard for their outlook. Though nowadays the first step would be to identify which views should be highlighted from which rooms, houses like the one featured on these pages were not built with the same degree of consideration.

When Riddel Architecture was commissioned to complete an extensive renovation, architect Emma Scragg says positioning the house with respect to the site was the first thing they needed to address. In particular, there were panoramic bay views that needed to be maximised in the new design. The decision was made to shift the house laterally on the site, to create a sheltered deck and make room for garages under the house. An extra two-storey wing was also added to make more room for the owners' burgeoning family, the architect says.

"In the corner with the most desirable views, the southeast corner, there was a pokey little bathroom, which was a waste of the stunning view. The house has been extended, and the new southeast corner now boasts a balcony and a sitting room with a bay window. The master bedroom on the eastern side, near where the bathroom used to be, also takes in the view," she says.


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A view of the home before it was renovated.

The house had undergone an earlier renovation, and the entry verandah in particular had suffered. It had been closed in using more contemporary fenestration, detracting from what had been a feature of the original house. The architect says returning it to a verandah with louvres and timber sweeps restored much of its original charm.

"With a western aspect, the louvres allow light and breeze to be adjusted to suit," she says.

Another one of the house's exterior features designed to allow easy interaction with the elements is the barn-style sliding doors. The doors were added to provide generous access to the back lawn and the sea views, but also to allow flexible summer living. At night, the timber screens can be locked from the inside, allowing the glass doors to remain open, providing ventilation for the downstairs studio and guest quarters.

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A view of the home before it was renovated.

The planning of the renovation has also served to correct the old house's biggest flaw, a lack of flow. The old layout had the lounge in the centre of the upper level, which the architects replaced with a central hallway to service all three upstairs bedrooms. The hallway also provides visitors with pleasing sight lines from the entry foyer, through the dining and living area, to the bay.

Feb 01, 2008

Credit list

Interior designers
Windows
Breezway, Aneeta double-hung
External lighting
Roofing
Galvanised custom orb
Builder
Neil Conwell
Exterior paint
Dulux K10 Weathershield
Cladding
Hardwood Weatherboards
Eaves
Timber battens with bird mesh
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