A Revitalised ‘50s Home in Sydney’s Lane Cove

What does a young family do when they’ve outgrown their beloved home? While some say move, Those Architects say improve!

By re-working an existing extension, Those Architects were able to provide considerable extra space in this 1950’s home, without dramatically increasing the overall footprint.

From its original curved façade, to the newly installed elevated pool, there’s a lot to love about this Sydney home!

Amelia Barnes

House Lincoln by Those Architects solves the age-old ‘move or improve’ dilemma. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

A mini ‘tower’ turns the modest ’50s suburban bungalow into a versatile courtyard home. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

Honed concrete surrounds the pool. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

At 185 square metres, this is a relatively modest sized home but with flexible in and outdoor spaces. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

The house has been reconfigured into an L-shape to surround a new north-facing courtyard. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

Elba marble meets custom joinery in the kitchen. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

A Paulistano armchair in the rumpus. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

A curved bedroom walls frames views of trees outside. Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

Styling – Felicity Ng. Photo – Luc Remond 

Amelia Barnes
16th of March 2020

The owners of this 1950s home in Lane Cove, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, loved its original features and location, but there was little room for their expanding family. Rather than moving to a larger house, the family engaged Those Architects to rebuild the extension (a previously poorly designed lean-to) to offer a better use of space, without expanding the overall footprint. This rebuild also provided the opportunity to open up the home to its formerly disjointed north-facing backyard.

Because of the property’s oddly shaped and sloping site, an innovative structure was required for the extension. Those Architects’ response was to devise a brick ‘tower’ spread across two levels, enabling room for an additional bedroom, city views, and a second play area, without impeding on outdoor space for a courtyard, pool and lawn. ‘We removed the lean-to and reoriented the entire house so that it hinged around a north-facing courtyard,’ explains Simon Addinall, director of Those Architects.

The backyard, including the pool area, is arranged in tiers to suit the site, creating a series of smaller break-out spaces. ‘We sculpted the sloping site using one wall of the new raised swimming pool’ Simon says. This transforms the courtyard into a sheltered, central place, where the living and kitchen area of the old house and the new rumpus room connect.

The original 1950’s home was retained in the renovation process, with only minor alterations made to the layout. A ‘Juliet’ balcony and curved bay window in the main bedroom were also restored. This original architecture was the inspiration for the property’s new elements. ‘We don’t seek to try and replicate what is there, rather, provide a modern addition that complements the original dwelling,’ Simon says. ‘In this case, brick is continued through the design and used as the dominant material, referencing the existing homes construction.’ This consistent use of brick also instils thermal mass properties, to facilitate passive heating and cooling in the home, thereby reducing energy consumption.

While the design principles employed by Those Architects in this project are measured and  timeless, a playful element is introduced in the use of colour, and creative use of space. The result is a home that both celebrates its past, and looks ahead to the future.

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