Colonnade House, designed by Splinter Society, is a project that aims to extend a federation-style home and open up the existing dwelling to be a more connected, fluid home. The extension is modern, robust and well connected to garden surroundings, with the original home given a contemporary refresh to ensure it is congruent with the new addition.
The addition is a modern adaptation of federation characteristics. While the old contains a number of decorative motifs, the new contains a restrained modern decorative grain of refined steel, timber, render and tile detailing. The original dwelling’s convoluted floorplan is not mirrored with the new addition, utilising architectural devices to create a desired free-flowing plan whilst maintaining its spatial and programmatic definition as opposed to closed, defined rooms. The addition does in fact mimic the existing building in some form, with minimal geometric roof forms and lofty ceilings channelling the intersecting gabled rooflines of the federation home.
The original dwelling now houses the private spaces of the occupants, allowing for intimacy and a romantic old-world charm. A new entry to the home bisects old and new, allowing occupants to appreciate the black painted timberwork of the old home before entering a dramatic gallery style linking foyer. From here, the colonnade, of which the project gains its name, begins.
In order to deliver a concrete home aesthetic on a budget, the concrete colonnade was created that runs centrally through the new extension that connects the old home to the garden. Serving as a functional volume, the colonnade filters and screens light between living spaces and the northern pool and garden. Between the columns sits a collection of intimate, sunny, garden-connected window daybeds and pedestals to house sculptures. Supported by these columns floats a simple black gable formed roof.
With the owner of the home being an artist, the controlling of artificial and natural light, the framing of views and the textural palette were critical in properly complementing a series of artworks and sculptures that feature throughout the home. A palette of hand brushed timbers, plasters, concrete, and ceramic tiles was chosen to provide this complimentary muted backdrop. Where necessary, dark mirrors, metal sheeting and decorative steelwork enhance and reflect these surfaces and frame the architecture.
The home, filled with natural light, balances the new thermal mass, re-insulated old structure and double glazing throughout. The north-facing addition provides a well-ventilated home that connects its occupants to a quasi-meadow landscape outside. The implementation of a solar hot water system, water tanks and a photovoltaic power system aim to further the home’s passive design principles, making it highly efficient and sustainable.
Splinter Society have successfully modernised a federation-era home refreshed for modern day living. The home’s rich experiential quality, poetic heritage dialogue, inspiring natural lighting and refined material detailing will ensure it truly enriches the lives of its inhabitants, while ensuring they have their own private spaces, as well as spaces to convene both inside and outside the house.