One of the most exciting stages in any building project is when the house has passed lock-up stage and the plasterboard is in. If the design process has been properly considered (and crafted) then everything that you imagined is happening as it should and moving to completion. For our lovely clients and Secret Design Studio is has been a long road with this mid-century modern style addition which had to go through the town planning process with Whitehorse Council in an area where many neighbours are opposed to any changes. Thanks to Rachel and Lyndell of Detail 9 Architects for the collaboration in the home stretch.
The clients had purchased the home quite a few years ago due to its position in one of Blackburn’s better streets, the generous block, the northern rear orientation, and not for the dilipadated and neglected mid-century modern home that was on the block. Over the years they had worked hard to tidy it up with some minor renovations, completed some landscaping (including a large, beautiful, north facing, kid-friendly back-garden) and made it a modestly scaled, comfortable, family home. However with a growing family, a home business, and relatives who liked to visit the house wasn’t really addressing all of the needs of the family.
The cathedral ceiling that ran through the house from the front to the back was a real feature, and excluded a straightforward first floor addition without making some serious compromises on the house, and looking like a first floor addition. The typical solution would have been to extend out the back, however the existing living rooms and kitchen were focussed to the rear, and it would have eaten up too much of the backyard.
The solution was to extend to the front and side, and to replace an old shed building on the rear boundary with a new studio building in the same style as the existing house. This design solution had the benefit of providing a new carport/porch area to the front, with the front door addressing the street, instead of hidden down the side of the house.
The existing house was solidly built using limestone blocks, similar to the ones used in the original building at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen. It was decided that as these were so integral to the original design that the new extension would incorporate the existing front facing blocks as an internal feature wall as well as new blocks to the addtions. The existing roof would be extended forward over the new bedroom extension to the front and then extended up past the existing ridge to form a skillion roof.
A new flat roof for the carport would be linked to the front extension to form a porch area, and to protect the entry steps, which provides a human-scaled entry, which is typical of so many mid-century modern homes, and is opposite to the current McMansion trend of trying to impress from the street with an oversized entry.
Everybody will keep fingers crossed that our clients will be enjoying their Christmas in their “new” home.
If you have a mid-century home in Melbourne or Sydney that needs help, but don’t know where to start, please fill out our enquiry form by clicking on this link: