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A renovation that transformed a compact 1950s cottage into a generous family home.

A simple single room addition to the front of the house, and minor renovations to the interior of the existing, added generous living spaces and a new master bedroom with ensuite. The internal changes made way for a spare bedroom. A wrap around verandah is positioned facing the street, taking advantage of views towards the hills. As the existing floor level sits high above natural ground level, the lower undercroft area is made use of as a studio and storage space.

Above Left: Proposed Floor Plan; Upper Right: Existing Floor Plan; Lower Right : Demolition Plan

One of our first endeavors in this project was a two hour Design Workshop. We sat down with the owners and together enjoyed a hands-on sessions of sketching over existing floor plans. We fleshed out ideas the owners had in mind, as well as alternative options. Below are the two schemes we arrived at at the end of the Workshop. The sketch on the right is the owner's original idea; the sketch on the left is an alternative we arrived at in the Workshop.

The owners originally intended to extend to the East, adding a new master bedroom and ensuite next to the existing bedrooms. By visualizing the owner's idea in this way, we could identify a few shortcomings: the addition would be somewhat compromised to suit the angled boundary on that side, would not deliver on a more generous living area nor on a comfortable separation between children and parents rooms. To counter this, we suggested that rather than extending to the East, the addition be located at the front of the property. The addition could come off the existing living area, extending out into the generous front setback, to allow for a much large living space. A deep wrap around verandah acts as a buffer and transition space between the street and the living areas. Placing the addition at the front improved the street presence of the home, with the new gable end and verandah visually addressing the street and allowing for a more welcoming entry into the home.

These sketches were worked up further after the Workshop, the result being the following two hand drawn sketch plans. The owners loved the alternative option we came up with during the Workshop, and this became the seed from which we developed the concept.


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