Solomon Troup Architects explored several options when engaged to transform this 1980s brick house in Point Lonsdale, on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.
The brief was to turn the well lived-in home (that previously accommodated a family of five) into a more functional space suitable for the clients’ retirement.
Complete demolition of the existing house was on the table, but the architects saw value in retaining most of the original home and adding only a modest extension.
‘Our intent for this project was to reduce the amount of construction waste created by retaining and reusing as much of the existing building fabric as possible,’ says Lachlan Troup, director of Solomon Troup Architects. ‘This was equally the most challenging but also rewarding part of the project.’
Elements of the existing house to the east and west were retained, with reconfigured and repaired communal spaces (kitchen, dining, and living areas) in between.
A 40 square metre extension (added to the side of the home, on the site’s north) contains the new main bedroom and en suite, oriented to receive western sun and park views.
The extension was designed as a modern interpretation of a gable roof with a sloping roofline that follows the angle of the site. ‘This not only creates a dynamic and interesting form but also maximises the available space within the site,’ says Lachlan.
An operable spotted gum rain screen conceals the new ensuite from the adjacent public parkland as required, while providing shading to the building envelope. A blind can also be fully opened to take in views of the garden, or closed to shield from the hot western sun.
‘I can’t imagine many other places I’d rather be than sitting in the bath looking at the sky and watching the birds fly about the garden,’ says Lachlan.
The untouched bedroom wing in the original house allows the clients’ extended family to visit on occasions, and can be closed off completely when not in use.
While much of the existing house was retained, strategies were used throughout the project to drastically reduce the amount of waste. An existing ensuite was repurposed into a new guest powder room (removing the need to cut up concrete in order to relocate an existing toilet), and a window became the opening of the new bedroom addition.
Last but not least, the original street-facing facade was repaired, with only a glimpse of the new addition offered from the street behind mature trees.