Located in an inner suburb of Melbourne, this project is an angular extension to a worker’s cottage to increase the home’s light, living space and outdoor connection.
The project makes the most of the limited amount of space available to generate an open-plan living and dining area able to accommodate a young family with a child and a dog. The brief was for light-filled and flexible spaces suitable for daily use by a small family but also capable of hosting a large extended family.
As with many project of this scale in inner Melbourne, the siting and orientation of the plot were a challenge. With a south-facing site providing little direct natural light, much of the design exploration was focused on sectional moves that allowed light to fill the space through folds and incisions in the roofline of the extension. Folds in the roofline scissor against one another, creating a split in the volume of the house. Triangular windows have also been positioned strategically to allow views towards the sky and surrounding foliage, while also allowing direct northern sunlight into the space.
The external shell is clad in charcoal steel, with Australian hardwood timber cladding used to highlight the end face of the house. This section of the house cantilevers over the outdoor living space, reading as though the volume of the house were cut away at the rear.
The sensation in moving from the old house to the new house is a classic architectural experience of compression and release. Moving through a door to a tight corridor, you then proceed to a wide chamber where openings allow for a cascade of framed views into a tree, the sky and finally the open backyard.