19.11.2013

Armadale House in Australia

This project involved alterations and additions to an existing Victorian house in Armadale that had been renovated in the late 1980s. The scope of work included a complete refurbishment of the existing Victorian House and a new upper level extension separated into two private zones for parents and children.

An alterations and additions project to an existing Victorian house in Armadale that had been renovated in the late 1980s. The client brief called for a new second floor addition comprising of five bedrooms and associated bathrooms. An extension of this requirement was to reconfigure the ground floor living, dining and kitchen areas. A critical factor in the reorganisation of these spaces was to consider how the proposed alterations and additions could engage with a large external garden.

The original Victorian “U” shaped plan configuration was rediscovered and reinforced by a first floor addition that followed the outline of the perimeter walls below. As a gesture towards connecting the house to the garden and vice-versa, the two outer bedroom wings of the upper floor addition cantilevered beyond the ground floor to engage with the landscape.

To further reinforce this gesture at the ground floor level a large deck area projected into the garden. This provided a new “outdoor” living space defined by a stone wall and fireplace – an undercroft beneath the first floor cantilevered bedroom wing.  The definition of the once Victorian house is maintained as a rendered masonry construction type with “punched’ openings framing views to the courtyard and garden beyond.

The first floor addition is a lightweight timber framed construction type with vertical cedar shiplap boards as cladding. The lightweight timber material and construction type provides a strong contrast to the masonry walls below. A black painted parallel flange channel separates the two materials as a shadowline and accentuates the cantilever of the first floor bedroom wings either on side of the courtyard.

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The first floor window openings of the new works alternate between a lower and higher position, one scaled for adults and one for children activating the corridor space. In summary the alterations and additions to the existing house make a positive contribution by engaging with the greater garden space in a new and positive way.

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