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.