The North Shore House project involves the renovation of a narrow Victorian house with great streetscape appeal but outdated interiors and spatial layouts.
The former plan was structured by a north south corridor along the eastern edge of the house connecting rooms facing west to the side boundary. A recent split level addition at the rear had placed a small family room at garden level with the kitchen and dining room situated above.
Our principle strategy was to restructure the living spaces at the rear of the house to bring these onto a single level in a functional arrangement, and with their primary aspect to the north.
A key design intention was to compose the living spaces with an unexpected scale combined with an expansive outlook in contrast with the narrowness and confined sense of space of the old house.
The planning arrangement establishes a new stair perpendicular to the corridor in the old house to re-orient the aspect of the new spaces northward. The side walls are pushed toward each boundary to maximise the living room frontage to the north. A broad new kitchen lies against the stair looking out over the living and dining spaces to the rear garden and view. And a substantial garage with ancillary spaces at the lower ground level is provided as foundation to a new elevated garden terrace that sits as a seamless extension of the interior.
The architecture of the new work is conceived to support the experiential contrast between the old and new. Whilst the new addition is rectilinear in form, it contains detail and material differences that give the new work a contemporary expression. The master bedroom suite is housed within an abstracted roof form that aligns with the old roof and enables a ‘top of wall’ datum to run through both parts of the house. At the lower level, the datum of the rusticated sandstone base to the old house is carried through in the concrete block walls of the garage. The use of colour across all surfaces continues the interplay to provide the final touch in reconciling new and old.