The brief for this project was to transform a small and dark Edwardian home into a light-filled two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a generous study space. Director of Wexhaus (formerly Rara Architecture) Wesley Spencer, describes how the small footprint (just 108 square metres) presented challenges, requiring the budget to work hard to achieve the intended results!
The key strategy of this project was ‘to bring light into the dwelling and to introduce the feeling of spaciousness,’ Wesley says. This has been achieved in the soaring raked ceiling of the living space, and by introducing a mezzanine, where extra space has been cleverly crafted!
With a bit of back and forth about how best to interpret to the original style of the home, the resolution was to embark upon a new build ‘that respected neighbourhood character without looking like a mock-Edwardian.’ Wesley describes the resulting structure as a ‘statement piece’ of architecture that respects its Edwardian past with its weatherboard exterior, front verandah and pitched roof, ‘but folded into the design are other influences that brought out the most of the home.’
The characterful name comes from the front and rear facade that resembles a cuckoo clock, but the interiors are splashed with an unconventional, bold use of colour. The bright orange kitchen and midnight blue in the bedrooms creates distinct zones, while the living area aesthetic is more restrained.
The windowless bedroom presented a particular challenge for the architects. In order to transform the space into one of warmth and relaxation, the designers drew upon an ‘Egyptian tomb, or Italian church ceiling with a blue night sky painted on it’ to create a sense of a roofless room!
From the upside-down arch at the front window, to the plywood ‘box’ vestibule that links the old and new, and the gently pink verandah, there is plenty to go cuckoo about in this innovative and bold home.