Project Team: David Barr, Stephen Hicks
Project Status: Design Development
Our brief from a family with two young children called for a modest extension to their early-twentieth century brick house in West Leederville. Set on a leafy street of heritage houses, the site falls two metres from front to rear boundary, with the proposed addition accommodating the fall through a cascading section in which the ceiling height is maintained from the existing house as the floor level drops, culminating in a four metre high ceiling height in the living room.
The plan introduces a pinwheel configuration, with the kitchen and dining room paired with an external dining area on one level and, on the other side of a thick stone wall, the living room paired with a sheltered courtyard spaced. This coupling of spaces explores ideas that were first tested in the Claremont Residence, with an internal area matched with an accompanying external area. The extension is capped on the west with a series of sliding timber screens that shade the summer sun while containing the raised external area. Two skylights, one small and one large, draw sunlight deep into the house and counteract the project’s limited opportunity for northern openings.
The proposed extension employs a varied material palette, with the limestone footing walls of the existing house forming a material clue to the addition. New limestone forms a project plinth but also a thickened wall that is inhabited (as in the linking study area), crossed (at the junction of dining and living), and used (as storage and fireplace). Elsewhere the new volume employs white painted cement render externally, with timber and steel detailing, and a polished concrete floor.