This house extension in Melbourne by local studio Kennedy Nolan Architects is separated from the rest of the Edwardian property by a wall with a circular hole that children can climb through (+ slideshow).
The owners of a typical early 20th-century weatherboard-clad house in the inner-city district of Westgarth asked Kennedy Nolan to increase the floor area of the property, creating more space for their young family and improving the connection between the interior and the garden.
The architects rationalised the existing internal spaces to create a series of spacious bedrooms and a playroom, while the single-storey extension provides a new living area looking onto the garden.
The original entrance required the owners to follow a corridor between the bedrooms to reach the main living areas, so the architects relocated the front door to the centre of the property, where it opens directly into the new living space.
"By shifting the house's entry onto the north boundary we managed to separate the private and public spaces," Kennedy Nolan told Dezeen.
"Extending back from the existing house also makes the most of the north-facing site and creates a connection to the outdoors."
The approach to the new entry is flanked on one side by the existing building's facade and on the other by a masonry wall covered in a rough render, which was added by the architects to emphasise the transition between the street and the residence.
A hole punched into the wall close to the entrance allows views through to the garden and the glass sliding doors of the living room, providing a visual connection between the old and new parts of the house.
The new volume is constructed from masonry that has been painted white to complement the painted timber of the original building and to enhance the subtle differences in texture between the brick, render and wooden surfaces.
"The extension is sympathetic to the aesthetic of the Edwardian house because we used a very similar colour palette which we've stripped back as much as we can," explained the architects.
"We're interested in craft and carpentry so we used simple construction techniques and materials to introduce texture and interesting surface details."
The front of the flat roof's thick fascia has a V-shaped profile that the architects designed to enliven this otherwise mundane surface.
A wooden deck outside the front door extends on the other side of the wall across the front of the lawn outside the living room, enhancing the relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
A tall picket fence provides a contemporary counterpoint to the traditional fence outside the existing house, and also screens views in from the adjacent street.
Wooden finishes add warmth to a largely monochrome palette inside the home, while original details from the Edwardian property – including a decorative wooden doorway arch – are picked out in black to emphasise their presence.
Photography is by Derek Swalwell
Architects: Kennedy Nolan Architects
Project Type: Alterations and Additions
Project Team: Rachel Nolan, Patrick Kennedy, Adriana Hanna, Susan Syer, Frank Vedelago, Victoria Reeves
Builder: Greg Scott Constructions