Weatherboard House / FMD Architects

  • 11 Mar 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
© Peter Bennetts

Architects: FMD Architects
Location: , Australia
Year: 2011
Photographs: Peter Bennetts

© Peter Bennetts

The brief was to renovate and extend the existing weatherboard dwelling to accommodate 4-5 bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living areas to suit their current needs as well as potential future growth.The client was sensitive to maintaining the current streetscape, but was also interested in extending their architectural knowledge and appreciation with the new extension. 

The new additions extend the use of weatherboards as the principal cladding material. Conventional detailing is manipulated as the extension moves away from the existing building. The weatherboards compress as they extend upwards along the sides of the building. The north façade stretches the weatherboards capacity to the limit as they weave themselves over the tapering façade, windows and pivoting canopies. The forms and material are inseparable as they sculpt themselves to follow the path of light and shade over the building. Louvered canopies pivot and envelope the façade to offer a dynamic landscape of shadows both internally and externally.

© Peter Bennetts

The use of the weatherboards allows an architectural response which both defers to the heritage of the building while offering contemporary expression of its current occupants.

Brief, site context and constraints

The site is a medium sized block in the NE suburbs of Melbourne. The streetscape is relatively consistent with single and renovated 2 storey weatherboard bungalows along its length.

© Peter Bennetts

The budget was modest, reinforcing the need to maintain as much of the existing structure and materials as possible. The client was sensitive to maintaining the current streetscape, but was also interested in extending their architectural knowledge and appreciation with the new extension. 

Existing and new spaces were to remain flexible as either studies, bedrooms or living spaces, varying in use as the dynamics of the family changes as the children grow and needs vary.

© Peter Bennetts

Methodology and Resolution

Retaining the existing building was a key consideration for both economical and philosophical reasons. The new extension was to have minimal visual impact from the street, while offering a surprisingly contemporary expression from within the private domain.

The planning of the building allows the family to live downstairs at this stage, however as the family grows and the children get older, the 1st floor extension provides the family with future flexibility with 2 additional bedrooms, bathroom and living spaces. In the meanwhile the upstairs spaces allow the family to offer hospitality to their extended family and friends many of which live overseas or in the country and often stay for extended periods.

© Peter Bennetts

The new additions extend the use of weatherboards as the principal cladding material. However conventional detailing is manipulated along the façade. As it extends away from the existing building, the weatherboards setout and pattern compress as they move upwards along the sides of the building. A subtle suggestion of what is to come from within the backyard.

The north façade is the most private and concealed as it faces the backyard. Its stretches the weatherboards capacity to the limit as they weave themselves over the tapering façade, windows and pivoting canopies. The forms and material are inseparable as they sculpt themselves to follow the path of light and shade over the building. Window openings are formed from shadow analyses on the façade, while the louvered canopies pivot and envelope the façade to offer a dynamic landscape of shadows both internally and externally.

© Peter Bennetts

The use of weatherboards allowed a subtle transition from the old to the new, which is also reiterated in the interior. Its neutrality allowed a quiet, almost secretive transition from the existing building at the south, to its modern counterpoint at the north. It is consciously restrained, with the tapered windows offering the only suggestion of while lies beyond.

The resulting renovation offers a dynamic array of spaces for the family to suit their varying needs, while the use of the weatherboards allows an architectural response which both defers to the heritage of the building while offering contemporary expression of its current occupants. 

Plan 01
Cite: "Weatherboard House / FMD Architects" 11 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=342052>

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