Cedar House skylight

This project is the renovation of an existing Edwardian weatherboard house that maximises light and indoor-outdoor connection.


The clients and their children had outgrown the existing home, including a 1980s addition that was dated and dysfunctional.

The redesign

Cedar House exterior

Upon entering the home, the new open space and outdoor areas are immediately obvious, as well as the dramatic full-length skylight that marks the connection between old and new. Not only does this skylight bring natural light into the space, but it is also a key element honouring the roofline of the original home.

Conceived as a finely crafted cedar box, the upper level floats above the open-plan living spaces, wrapped in timber. This element serves as the soffit and the ceiling of the dining area below.

The upper level also overhangs the lower level on the north side, providing sun protection and creating a covered outdoor space. When the sliding doors are open, the entire dining area feels like a covered outdoor space, blurring the boundary between inside and out.


The biggest challenges were the unusual shape of the site and its expansive heritage overlay.


Cedar House exterior pool

To address the heritage overlay, the architects retained the original home and confined new works to the rear where they cannot be seen from the front street.

The rear addition’s gabled roof form helps it blend into the area. The addition is also set back from the street, and cedar was used to act as a modern equivalent to the weatherboard homes in the area.

Cedar House interior

Sustainability features

  • Photovoltaic cells are used to generate the home’s energy and solar heating for the pool.
  • With optimal solar orientation, double-glazing and strong insulation, the home is naturally warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Underground water tanks reside under the deck, collecting rainwater for reuse in the garden and to re-fill the swimming pool.