Located on a 197m2 corner block in South Fremantle, House HH negotiates the interface between private living space and the public realm. This contemporary addition forms a poetic extension from the rear of what is a quintessentially Western Australian workers cottage.
The core driver for the project was to create an open plan living space and improve the amenity of the outdoor area. Through the subtle manipulation of the volumes of the house, we were able to maintain a generosity of space whilst ensuring a connection to the light and space outside. The footprint of the addition is no greater than the previous lean-to, however the space has shifted from a traditional house and yard to merge the threshold between interior and exterior.
At the street, a full height louvered strip acts as the stitch line between old and new, giving glimpses of the interior to passers by as well as a connection to the outside from within. This grafting of new to old is evident through the building interior with the steel structure exposed and wall thicknesses subtly shifting to distinguish between old and new.
The house sits on the corner of a street lined with workers cottages built within the same era and we were mindful of the strong visual and physical impact of an extention to a corner site with zero setback. The material palette was critical and this is illustrated through the new flushed limestone face contrasting sympathetically with the rough walled texture of the original edifice.
The extension provides a point of interest along the leafy streetscape without overwhelming or intruding upon the surrounding architecture.
The grafted addition to the rear allowed for the heritage front of the house to remain intact and be completely restored. We worked closely with the engineer to ensure that the connection between old and new was elegant, read through the subtle registration of steel structure and the introduction of natural light.
The project budget was closely monitored through out the process with very few variations occurring during the construction process. The overall project budget was $521,508 with a new internal floor area of 52m2.
This project demonstrates that on a small plot of land it is possible to create a light, generous space by enhancing the connection between the interior and exterior.
Through the large, folding doors at the rear there is a complete breakdown in the threshold between the two. The requirement for mechanical cooling systems is almost negated and the occupiers of the house are able to embrace the sea breezes year ‘round.
The owners have expressed their delight with the property. They are comfortable in the new space and feel that the project responded to the as they hoped.