This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Triumphant West Brunswick Extension

Architecture

For Melbourne architect Peter Knights of Taylor Knights, good design comes down to being perceptive to what and who is around us. ‘Basically, looking and listening’ he explains.

It’s this humble philosophy that guided the studio’s recently completed West Brunswick house, an inspired 55 square metre alteration and addition to a Californian bungalow.

 

1st February, 2018

West Brunswick home by Taylor Knights architects. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

A peek into the living space, featuring THAT Ligne Roset sofa. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

‘Both the clients and ourselves were keen to explore how simple (and often serious!) materials such as concrete and brick could also take on an element of playfulness,’ says architect Peter Knights of Taylor Knights. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

One of the initial floorplan sketches. Courtesy of Taylor Knights.

Architects James Taylor and Peter Knights of Taylor Knights referenced one of their client’s favourite artworks, Kandinsky’s ‘Upward’, to establish the colour palette of the home. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Creating a space that would accommodate their diverse collection of artwork and literature was an essential part of the client’s brief. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

The living room frames views out to the garden. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Early stages exterior sketch, showing the relationship between original home and extension. Image courtesy of Taylor Knights.

The client’s favourite Kandinsky artwork, which inspired shapes and colours of the extension, sits next to the door. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Sage green concrete floor, flecked with dark local bluestone. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Taylor Knights curated view lines across the space, and created nooks and reveals within the open plan addition. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Bold shapes and geometry in the living space. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

PINK CARPET! Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Sharp lines in the bathroom, softened by greenery. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 1st February 2018

‘An early sketch of this project was captioned ‘business up front, party out the back’!’ – James Taylor and Peter Knights.

‘An early sketch of this project was captioned ‘business up front, party out the back’ explains Peter Knights of Taylor Knights architects – ‘we feel this accurately sums up the energy of our client, and our playful approach.’

In fact, it’s not just playfulness that describes Taylor Knights’ design process here, but also, a distinct lack of ego. This modest, though transformative renovation is testament to the architects’ thoughtful, pragmatic approach.

After 10 years of living in the original house, and learning all the things they loved (as well as those they were happy to leave behind), the owners approached Taylor Knight architects in 2015.

The brief was straightforward enough – the client was keen to reconfigure the back section of the original house, which, like so many homes of this era, was a rabbit-warren of compartmentalised rooms, with very little connection to the garden beyond.

Creating a bigger, brighter home that would also accommodate the clients’ extensive collection of artwork and books was also an essential part of the brief – a family favourite being a treasured print of Kandinsky’s ‘Upward’ (Empor) (1929). In fact, this print became a key inspiration for the architects’ design response, guiding the interior colour and materials palette.

Architects James Taylor and Peter Knights opted for robust materials that would stand up to the rigours of family life – white brick walls and timber panelling were paired with and a unique green-tinted concrete floor, flecked with local bluestone.

Structurally, the design team were keen to keep things simple. ‘From the beginning, the project was always about achieving quality over quantity’ Peter concludes. For this reason, the architects sought to avoid as many major structural changes as possible, designing a compact new living pavilion to extend the existing home, and gently re-orientating the home by creating a new entry point at the side of the house, linking old and new.

Retaining much of the home’s existing structure also contains the scale here, and lends a special charm to the place. The architects are particularly fond of the low ceilings – not usually a sought after feature (!), but in this instance so effective at creating a cosy and intimate space, and framing beautiful views of the garden.

Taylor Knights would like to acknowledge and thank their builder, Gareth Cannon of GC+F Construction, who did a fantastic job!

This Week

Interiors

Two Inspiring Kitchen Transformations - From Affordable Update To Complete Overhaul!

Lauren Li shows us what can be done in two very different kitchen renovations on two different budgets – one tiny, and one rather large!
Lauren Li

Stays

A Quaint Miner's Cottage In Dubbo Made For Slowing Down

A sympathetic renovation to a dilapidated 19th century cottage makes it the perfect regional getaway.
Sasha Gattermayr

Textiles

The Mindboggling Artistry Of The Opera House's Nearly-Forgotten Tapestries

In a brand new podcast series, Australian design aficionado Tim Ross takes a closer look at the four enormous textiles by Le Corbusier, John...
Sasha Gattermayr

Sustainable Homes

A Sustainable Inner-Suburban Home, Designed To Be Deconstructed + Reused

Rammed earth and recycled timber come together in this creekside Melbourne home by Breathe Architecture.

Homes

A Creative Couple's Lovingly Renovated 1950's Home

Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films share their renovated 1950s home in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.

News

This Enormous Collaborative Beach Artwork Is Actually A Protest

A group of Sunshine Coast-based creatives create an ephemeral work to protest government investment in gas and advocate for an Indigenous kn...
Sasha Aarons

Shopping

Create Your Own Salon Wall With These Affordable, Vintage-Inspired Artworks

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming pioneers a new affordable art alternative, with the launch of his limited-edition, stretched-canv...
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Achieve The Ultimate Heritage Aesthetic With These Affordable Window Shutters

Elevate  your interiors with these fully customisable, heritage style louvres from The Shutters Department!

Architecture

An Open-Plan Home Partially Inspired By A Hitchcock Film!

Modo Architecture challenge the standard open floor plan in this Melbourne family home – taking partial inspiration from the house featur...
Amelia Barnes

News

Jardan's Stunning New Perth Showroom Is A Terrazzo Palace!

The champions of modern Australian furniture design open the doors on their first West Coast flagship.

Design Eye

Mardi Doherty on The 80’s Revival Interior

From bold colour, to chunky, curvy furniture forms, the 1980s is back, baby! Interior Designer Mardi Doherty gives us her take, in partnersh...

Architecture

A Dramatic Riverfront Home In Tasmania

Views of the river, mountains and surrounding vegetation are all cleverly captured in this house at Otago Bay, by Topology Studio.

News

Vincent Namatjira Wins The 2020 Archibald Prize!

In a historic day for the Australian art world, the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist and Western Arrernte man take...
Sally Tabart

Art

Intricate Bark Artwork From The 'Top End', On Show At Koskela

'Top End Bugi' at Koskela showcases 36 incredible bark artworks from three art centres in Arnhem Land.

Gardens

A Dreamy, Generous Coastal Garden

This Mollymook property's incredible front garden by Dangar Barin Smith has inadvertently become a local tourist destination.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

Gnarabup Beach House

A cleverly designed sanctuary, nestled on the wild coast of Western Australia.
Anna Flanders

Homes

Eco House Western Australia

A bright contemporary home in Perth designed with sustainability in mind and a considered array of intriguing materials.
Anna Flanders

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

This Week

Sustainable Homes

A Sustainable Inner-Suburban Home, Designed To Be Deconstructed + Reused

Rammed earth and recycled timber come together in this creekside Melbourne home by Breathe Architecture.

Shopping

Create Your Own Salon Wall With These Affordable, Vintage-Inspired Artworks

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming pioneers a new affordable art alternative, with the launch of his limited-edition, stretched-canv...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

An Open-Plan Home Partially Inspired By A Hitchcock Film!

Modo Architecture challenge the standard open floor plan in this Melbourne family home – taking partial inspiration from the house featur...
Amelia Barnes

Homes

A Creative Couple's Lovingly Renovated 1950's Home

Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films share their renovated 1950s home in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.

Interiors

Two Inspiring Kitchen Transformations - From Affordable Update To Complete Overhaul!

Lauren Li shows us what can be done in two very different kitchen renovations on two different budgets – one tiny, and one rather large!
Lauren Li

Art

Intricate Bark Artwork From The 'Top End', On Show At Koskela

'Top End Bugi' at Koskela showcases 36 incredible bark artworks from three art centres in Arnhem Land.

News

Jardan's Stunning New Perth Showroom Is A Terrazzo Palace!

The champions of modern Australian furniture design open the doors on their first West Coast flagship.

Architecture

A Dramatic Riverfront Home In Tasmania

Views of the river, mountains and surrounding vegetation are all cleverly captured in this house at Otago Bay, by Topology Studio.

News

Vincent Namatjira Wins The 2020 Archibald Prize!

In a historic day for the Australian art world, the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands artist and Western Arrernte man take...
Sally Tabart

Design Eye

Mardi Doherty on The 80’s Revival Interior

From bold colour, to chunky, curvy furniture forms, the 1980s is back, baby! Interior Designer Mardi Doherty gives us her take, in partnersh...

Gardens

A Dreamy, Generous Coastal Garden

This Mollymook property's incredible front garden by Dangar Barin Smith has inadvertently become a local tourist destination.

News

This Enormous Collaborative Beach Artwork Is Actually A Protest

A group of Sunshine Coast-based creatives create an ephemeral work to protest government investment in gas and advocate for an Indigenous kn...
Sasha Aarons

News

Achieve The Ultimate Heritage Aesthetic With These Affordable Window Shutters

Elevate  your interiors with these fully customisable, heritage style louvres from The Shutters Department!

Textiles

The Mindboggling Artistry Of The Opera House's Nearly-Forgotten Tapestries

In a brand new podcast series, Australian design aficionado Tim Ross takes a closer look at the four enormous textiles by Le Corbusier, John...
Sasha Gattermayr

Stays

A Quaint Miner's Cottage In Dubbo Made For Slowing Down

A sympathetic renovation to a dilapidated 19th century cottage makes it the perfect regional getaway.
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Homes

Gnarabup Beach House

A cleverly designed sanctuary, nestled on the wild coast of Western Australia.
Anna Flanders

Homes

Eco House Western Australia

A bright contemporary home in Perth, designed with sustainability as a chief priority.
Anna Flanders

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.