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Stretching out

 What began as a single-site, double-storey addition morphed into a double-site, single-level extension with the latter reached by a glass bridge.

Designed by Kister Architects

From the renovating architects:

Located in Modernist Caulfield, the original structure was a double-storey, 1970s, split-level residence in need of reimagining.

Referencing the home’s Modernist beginnings while designing a contemporary extension for a growing family was key to the brief for this renovation/extension but, with the acquisition of a second parcel of land to the south, what began as a single-site, double-storey addition morphed into a double-site, single-level extension.

Landscape architects were engaged early in the design phase to ensure an integrated vision for the expanded site.

As a primary response, the original concrete façade detail has been stretched away from the original building to form the ‘skin’ of the master retreat. 

Eschewing what has become a conventional strategy – that is, to add a double storey to the rear – this master wing is accessed by a private glass bridge at ground level. 

A curved shroud conceals the main bed from the neighbours’ view but maintains connection to nature and light – a priority throughout.


Blurring the distinction between the existing structure and the new was a deliberate strategy, designed to create a unified architectural entity. 

A once-dark, enclosed undercroft, the original, elevated entry was rebuilt to create a new, ground-level foyer, light-filled and linked to the landscape, behind the original arches.

Spaces within the home – the generous kitchen, lounge, sunken living room and glazed dining area – are delineated to maximise versatility and garden aspects, resulting in a haven for the entire family, with easy transitions from public to private zones, inside and out.

The prevailing aesthetic is a nuanced balance of old and new: white-on-white concrete flooring meets original terrazzo and bright blue plush carpet; timber lining envelops the interiors and burnt orange velvet couches provide a nod to the home’s history. 

So, too, do the custom-bronze glass and flocked carpet in the sunken pit. 

The original glazed skylight has been scaled up and wrapped in a timber-lined ceiling to link with nature.

Skylights minimise the need for artificial lighting and are but one of the sustainable principles adopted throughout. 

Solar panels, hot water and pool heating offset daily energy use, as well as extensive insulation, high-performance double glazing and external blinds. 

Integrated floor heating within the exposed concrete floor acts a heat bank during winter while the concrete maintains a cool finish in summer. 

Storm water is collected to flush toilets and irrigate the landscape. 

Modified cladding materials achieve a concrete look and feel, without the expensive, non-environmentally friendly in-situ concrete.

As a family home, the spreading out of the house and garden enhances the work-from-home potential, with the glazed corridor to the master retreat proving to be an excellent pacing area. 

The owners can both work from home uninterrupted while their children play in the garden or rumpus.

On its generous suburban block, the new build sensitively integrates contemporary family living with an architectural relic of a celebrated era. 

The versatile design embodies biophilic principles, focusing on connection to landscape and flexible living, while also enhancing the existing home. 

The owners can both work from home uninterrupted while their children play in the garden or rumpus.

On its generous suburban block, the new build sensitively integrates contemporary family living with an architectural relic of a celebrated era. 

The versatile design embodies biophilic principles, focusing on connection to landscape and flexible living, while also enhancing the existing home. 

  See the related powder room story

Credit list

Renovating architect
Landscape
Form
Roof
Colorbond
Splashback
Tiles, from Academy tiles
Taps
Franke Sinos
Dishwasher
Miele
Window/door joinery
AWS
Bedroom flooring
Fyber, Don Currie Carpets
Wall coverings
Byzantine tiles
Living room furniture
James Richardson
Lighting
About Space, Mondo Luce, In Common With
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Builder
Basis Builders
Cladding
Mac render, eco timber
Kitchen cabinetry
Ventech oak veneer
Benchtops
Caesarstone
Kitchen sink
Franke
Oven cooktop
Ilve
Water dispenser
Zip tap
Flooring
Polished concrete
Bathroom tiles
Byzantine, Academy Tiles, Artedomus
Paint
Dulux
Dining table/chaIrs
In Good Company
Control systems
Sonos

Designed by: Kister Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Peter Bennetts

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