A wooden wall with the silhouette of three little buildings lines the edge of this house extension in Melbourne by Australian architecture studio BLOXAS (+ slideshow).
Profile House is located within the industrial district of Brunswick East, so BLOXAS designed a new facade that would reference the surrounding brick and corrugated iron warehouses, as well as the timber-clad exterior of the original building.
The front entrance to the house remains in its previous location on the northern elevation, while the new rough-sawn ash facade grows out of a boundary fence on the western perimeter and stretches out along the length of the site.
The extension doubles the size of the single-storey house. The architects retained three front rooms and one small bathroom, then increased the size of the kitchen and dining room and added a new children's playroom, living room and en suite bedroom beyond.
The zigzagging profile of the building gives angled ceilings to each of the new spaces and brings daylight in through high-level windows and rooflights.
"The defining character of each internal space is the high undulating ceilings," says BLOXAS director Anthony Clarke. "These, assisted by a central wharf-decking courtyard and smaller lightwell to the west, allow natural light to penetrate throughout the entire plan."
The long narrow lightwell sits behind the western elevation, while the split-level courtyard is tucked into a recess on the east side of the building so that both the dining room and living room can open out to it.
Most of the new rooms feature bamboo flooring, apart from the living room that has a polished concrete ground surface.
Clarke established BLOXAS, short for Black Line One X Architecture Studio, in 2009 and the studio is based in Fitzroy North, Victoria. See more Australian architecture on Dezeen.
Photography is by Peter Bennetts.
Here's a project description from BLOXAS:
The Profile House offers an evocative tribute to the defined industrial typology of Brunswick East, in Melbourne's inner north. Simple planning creates clean, elegant and sculptural internal living spaces.
Seeking an addition to their typically dark Californian Bungalow, the clients emphasised the sustainable performance of their future home. Accordingly, they described a space with a feeling of openness, lightness, and visual continuity, connecting their home and landscape.
These values were reinforced by their professions, one specialising in environmental site characterisation and remediation, and the other practicing alternative medicine.
Located in a semi-industrial zone, the site offers visual proximity to the area's brick and corrugated iron warehouses. Some warehouses and factories are still operational, whilst many lie dormant and in disrepair, ripe for either their imminent demise or redevelopment into multi-storey apartment blocks.
A strong internal vertical profile extrudes to form the western elevation. Clad with rough-sawn overlapping Victorian Ash timber, this distinct contour continues along the western boundary as the defining architectural expression of the Profile House, whilst delivering on the brief of a secure building.
The defining character of each internal space is the high undulating ceilings, these, assisted by a central wharf-decking courtyard and smaller light-well to the west, allow natural light to penetrate throughout the entire plan.
In addition to the retention of three front rooms and central bathroom, the plan now features a re-worked kitchen and dining area, an informal children's area, and new living space. A new main bedroom, ensuite and private garden are also incorporated. The overall design strengthens family engagement and visual communication, reinforcing the relationships between space and activity.
In addition to dependable design strategies such as careful plan orientation and cross ventilation, solar hot water and water harvesting systems were also included, as well as the use of north facing thermal mass in the main living space. Natural material choices and finishes of low embodied energy including: un-seasoned, un-milled Victorian ash timber, and bamboo flooring through-out the addition adhered to the client's environmental stipulations.
A refreshing change from housing that simply maximises developer returns, neighbours have responded appreciatively to the low scale design, whilst maintaining the area's built integrity. In a subtle move the project further softens the corner, with the use of the timber in the boundary wall, juxtaposing against the materials of the factories.
This compact, economical and highly livable outcome was a result of inclusive dialogue between all consultants, the builder, architect and in particular the client.
Architect: Black Line One X Architecture Studio.
Location: Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia.
Project year: 2012
Areas: Site = 371sq.m, Existing house area = 87sq.m, Additional area = 83sq.m
Furniture: 'Earl Pinto' and Ross Gardam