Several Alspec products were installed at a striking new addition to a 1940s home in Northcote, VIC to support the design goals of capturing light as well as increasing energy efficiency.

Designed by Atelier Red + Black architects, the project involved a contemporary addition to this existing red brick home located in the suburb of Northcote in Melbourne, with the materials palette carefully selected to create a light-filled, family-friendly space that would provide year-round comfort for the residents.

Featuring a solid patterned brick exterior painted in contrasting white, the extension to Cascade House has been designed to capture northern sunlight and utilise thermal mass to create a year-round comfortable home. The new addition, which has a stepped form and connects to the original home by a new entry and light-well space combines with the oversized roof guttering connected to a rain chain to inspire the name of the house. Delivering a series of light, comfortable and well-orientated spaces designed to make efficient use of the available land while still retaining ample green space, Cascade House was shortlisted in 2019 for both Houses Awards and the Victorian Architecture Awards.

For the ground floor extension, the open plan kitchen, living and dining area features two large openings to the grassy rear yard. Spanning the two openings are Alspec’s ProGlide high performance sliding doors, cleverly stacking away into hidden wall cavities. ProGlide doors used in a cavity configuration were ideal for this situation as they provide unbroken access to the north-facing garden area and create an increased sense of space.

A two-storey brick wall on the western elevation of the extension has a decorative purpose with an alternating, protruding brick pattern, and also provides a solid thermal mass, which will minimise temperature fluctuations. The two large windows on the wall are made from Alspec’s energy-efficient ecoFRAMEplus 101.6mm centre pocket framing with double glazing that adds to the home’s insulation properties. The window adjacent to the dining area is also set behind a ‘brise-soleil’ wall, a decorative style of brick-patterned wall that serves to diffuse sunlight entering the space, reducing warming impacts and creating a dappled effect on the room’s interior.

Openable windows in the kitchen and upstairs bedroom areas feature Alspec’s 35mm awning windows incorporating overlapping internal and external seals for all-round weather performance, as well as lockable chainwinder handles to ensure security and safety for the residents.

Alspec products used in the project included ecoFRAMEplus 101.6mm centre pocket double glazed framing, ProGlide high performance sliding doors, and awning and casement windows, in an applied finish of Dulux Electro Flat White 906 1200F. Wenro Windows served as the fabricator on this project.

Photography: Peter Bennetts