Antony Martin, director of MRTN Architects, is the first to admit this Kyneton project explores two design objectives seemingly at opposite ends of the spectrum: an ‘ageing in place’ strategy for the owners, and a sculptural response to the landscape and garden.
As contradictory as these objectives may seem, Kyneton House achieves both, by designing a step-free extension within a striking cantilevered form.
Simply speaking, the architects have created an elevated extension containing the main bedroom, and a new carport underneath. An elevator connects to the main level of the existing 1977 house designed by architect Ken Robinson, as well as the new bedroom suite, eliminating the need for stairs.
Not only does the elevated form of the extension allow space underneath for the new carport, it respects the clients’ beloved garden.
‘They have spent a lot of effort in making the most of the original 1977 home, and as they are both very keen gardeners, have really taken on the substantial gardens as an ongoing project that they continue to work on and improve,’ says Antony. ‘Their affection for their home really was the genesis of the project, as they wanted to create an addition that also ensured their long term enjoyment of the house well into the future.’
The use of simple black bars on the extension evokes the metal sculptures of Tony Smith and Anthony Caro, with cladding that provides a recessive backdrop to the surrounding greenery.
Internally, the clients requested rich, natural materials to evoke a gallery experience. An extensive use of timber panels creates a calming and dramatic interior as a backdrop for their art collection, while tying with the original material palette encompassing bricks and ceiling lining boards from demolished local houses.
The completed project has extended and elevated this interesting home, both literally and figuratively, to support the clients well into the future!