A clever manipulation of a modest Western Australian duplex cottage has taken out the top award for alterations and additions to residential architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) 2014 National Architecture Awards.

Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal Architecture won the Australian Institute of Architects Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) ahead of a strong field, which included projects from Troppo Architects and Owen and Vokes and Peters.

In response to a brief that provisioned a more flexible lifestyle for occupants, Philip Stejskal created a functional interior-exterior amalgamation that can be opened or closed up with shutters and glazed panels.

The Jury were pleased with the level of user-control the project has established.

Jury Citation:

“This delightful project involved alterations and new work to a modest duplex cottage in Fremantle. The intervention has transformed the lives of its occupants through clever manipulation of space, inventive detail and thoughtful use of materials.

“The clients required an outdoor room, a new bathroom and greater privacy from the neighbouring house. The architect’s interpretation of this brief has resulted in enjoyable, flexible spaces that can be opened or closed up as desired. This flexibility means the spaces can have quite different personalities, depending on the nature of the day or the inclination of the client.

Photography by Bo Wong

“The bathroom is a long sliver of space on the southern boundary that not only frames the view to the garden but also becomes a barrier to the neighbouring house, delivering the requisite privacy. The path to the garden provides access and also transforms into a terrace. This is a threshold between garden and house – a space which invites occupation. The outdoor room has a sunken bay window overlooking the garden and a built-in seat along the side wall. The room is wrapped in shutters and glazed panels that can be opened or closed in response to the weather.

“This is a design that allows the user to control the level of thermal comfort. Part of the success of this design is the degree of flexibility that the occupier is offered to control the qualities of the space and its relationship to the outside. The modest but sensitive palette of materials enhances the sense of space inside and outside, and the whole project has a feeling of effortlessness and inevitability.”

National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

West End Tower – Owen and Vokes and Peters (Qld)

National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

Strohmayr House – Troppo Architects (NT)

Click HERE for the full list of winners.