Categories: House Extensions / Conversions / Reconstruction.
Suppliers: My Architect.

The owners wanted to transform their Californian Bungalow in Sandringham, Melbourne to see them through the next 20 years. They approached My Architect [Melbourne] with the aim of retaining the characteristic look and feel of the original home, while creating one that better catered for the family during the kids’ teenage years and beyond: a larger living room; a bedroom each for the kids; a pool and a basketball area were all on the “must-have” list. The owners worked from home so the front living room needed to remain as an office; while better home storage was also a priority.

What was the house like before the renovation? It was a 100 year old Californian Bungalow with great bones. It had a home renovation around 30 years ago that needed to be removed; and start again with the original house layout.

Were there any other major considerations? The owners wanted to comply with the streetscape character of the existing house, while adding a fresh, contemporary twist.

What changes were made? The two front original rooms, the main bedroom and a living room, were retained. Everything behind that was gutted, including demolishing the 30 year old renovation. A new back half of the house was rebuilt; some of the original layout was remodelled; the original front living room was enlarged while the main bedroom was kept the same size; and a second storey was added, including three bedrooms, a living room and two bathrooms.

What were some of the design challenges? The architects needed to comply with heritage controls for the front façade; including going through town planning because the site is less than 500m2, which added seven months to the planning phase.

What is the favourite part of the new space? The brick feature wall in the lounge room and the outdoors area which was constructed from the bricks of the old driveway and backyard paving. The wall was in the main architectural-brief. The original ceiling height of the front of the house was maintained; but as the block slopes down, the back half of the house was designed to drop down three steps to provide the main living room/kitchen ceiling height with an impressive 3.6m. This creates a refreshing sense of space in the back half of the house.

What were the energy efficient and environment considerations? Highlight louvre windows were installed along the west and east walls of the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs to allow breezes to move through the house. The main living area is a concrete slab to absorb the heat from the north sun.

How do the house design and landscaping complement each other?  Every part of the outside of this smallish block was optimised to fit in a pool and spa, whilst leaving sufficient space for a large deck leading from the main living area. A small basketball court was installed for the kids; and there’s a fire pit area in the front garden. All of the doors and outlooks were designed to make the most of these areas.

Project details:

  • Architect: Lyndal Williams, My Architect
  • Photography: Thomas Dalhoff
  • Dining room table, couches: Voyager Interiors
  • Landscaping: Zenith Concepts
  • Finishes Selection: KWD
  • Builder: Apollo Homes

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