Altair louvre windows from Breezway were installed as part of an extension project at a Victorian‐era house in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

The client’s brief sought new open‐plan living areas as well as a kitchen, bathroom and study nook in the modest extension, helping turn a dark, cramped residence with little backyard to spare, into a light‐filled house with fantastic indoor and outdoor entertaining areas.

Being south‐facing, the existing house cast itself into shadow, with unsightly neighbouring buildings imposing on all sides. Michael Roper of Architecture Architecture created a U‐shaped extension along the property boundaries, allowing the residents to enjoy a generous private courtyard, with great northern sunlight throughout the year.

The steep, raked roof deftly negotiates planning regulations, allowing for generous ceilings and high‐level clerestory Altair louvre windows by Breezway. Along both sides of the courtyard, a pair of long bench seats softens the threshold between indoors and out.

The optimised solar orientation along with the use of brick walls and a dark concrete slab for thermal mass ensures a high‐comfort, low‐energy house all year round.

Image: The Victorianera house extension (Photography – Tom Ross, Brilliant Creek)