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Step Inside A Thornbury Extension Designed Around Its Future Gardens

Architecture

Vivarium is a totally transformed Thornbury cottage intended to be ‘consumed’ by its future garden.

Designed by Architecture Architecture, new living areas are entangled with green spaces thanks to curved walls and an enchanting central courtyard. The project also successfully adheres to the homeowner’s requests to minimise their environmental footprint.

Take a closer look at this captivating abode!

3rd March, 2022

Already shrouded by native plants, the updated cottage leaves plenty of room for its garden to flourish. Photo – Tom Ross

Curved edges and expanses of glass bring an intriguing character to the home. Photo – Tom Ross

A ‘modest’ extension of only 63sq m, it has a big impact! Photo – Tom Ross

Inside the sweeping living room. Photo – Tom Ross

Timber features dominate the kitchen. Photo – Tom Ross

There’s indoor plants and green accents in every corner! Photo – Tom Ross

Perfectly placed windows help keep the home warm and bright. Photo – Tom Ross

Indoor-outdoor living at its best, with a corridor that invites you into the backyard. Photo – Tom Ross

And the property is even more dreamy at night. Photo – Tom Ross

‘An extension to an existing Thornbury cottage, the new living areas are now landscape as much as they are house, tangled through with greener,’ Nick says. Photo – Tom Ross

The original charming Thornbury facade hides its refined interior. Photo – Tom Ross

Christina Karras
Thursday 3rd March 2022

Architecture Architecture design director Nick James’ favourite aspect of this thoughtful renovation is a feature that isn’t even fully formed yet.

‘In time, this house will be consumed by its gardens. Already, the buzz of pollination fills the air: bees, blowies and butterflies. Nestled between three native crops, nature has the jump start,’ Nick says.

Homeowners Kimberley and Justin wanted to minimise their environmental impact in the renovation, while still creating their ideal three-bedroom house with a new kitchen, dining and living room extension.

Small updates to the existing property were made to help blend old and new elements and reconnect the entry to the backyard, including an intriguing ‘green corridor’ that links all living spaces.

Keeping sustainability front of mind, the revamped home embraces passive design principles as well as locally-sourced, reclaimed and recycled materials throughout. Gently curved edges and a central courtyard provide abundant natural light to the building’s interior.

New concrete floors also provide thermal mass for winter, while deep eaves and strategically placed windows create shade and cross-ventilation, ensuring the home is built to be enjoyed all seasons.

‘The extension is modest, taking only a small area for its occupants and leaving the rest of the site for nature…The natural environment spills into leisure and living areas, offering an ideal space for entertaining friends and family.’

Now the glorious backyard is no longer lost among the old and convoluted floor plan, it’s the hero of the home!

See more of Architecture Architecture’s work here.

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net