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  1. ArchDaily
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  5. Rara Architecture
  6. 2016
  7. Monolith House / Rara Architecture

Monolith House / Rara Architecture

  • 19:00 - 21 October, 2016
Monolith House / Rara Architecture
Monolith House / Rara Architecture, © Christopher Alexander
© Christopher Alexander

© Christopher Alexander © Christopher Alexander © Alison McWhirter Photography © Alison McWhirter Photography + 37

  • Structural Engineer

    John Kyrgios Building Surveyor – AABP
  • Land Survey

    Brian Watson Energy Rating – BEAC
  • Soil Report

    Indepth Geotech Builder –Precision Building Solutions Styling – Mila Jarvis
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Christopher Alexander
© Christopher Alexander

Text description provided by the architects. Our mission was to reinstate the old home's glory through highlighting it's simplistic characteristics and its overall form. We stripped it right back to a neutral state. The height of the rear addition had the potential to dwarf the original heritage home, so, sympathetically, we mimicked the roof angle, but didn't hide it. Nothing about the addition is 'trying to hide' anything. The old building transitions smoothly to the new, visually and emotionally, both internally and externally - the old floorboards transition to a new polished concrete slab, the old weatherboards transition to a perforated brick wall (outlining the central Zen garden) and then again to a solid brick wall. The addition, which can

© Christopher Alexander
© Christopher Alexander

be enjoyed from the rear lanes and from within the property stands proud, like the existing Edwardian; it stands high, and strong without any exaggeration or excess, it is brutal, minimal and statuesque: a monolith.

© Christopher Alexander
© Christopher Alexander

Our client hired us knowing the value an architect can add to the quality of their space. Bianca pushed us really hard to getting an exceptional work of architecture and not something easy they could 'pull off' as owner builders. This licensed us to explore some challenging design ideas that were pushed around in council for a while and was quite challenging structurally.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

The result is outstanding. It’s a humble house, with a simple and modest extension that meets the highest standards - everything is considered. With a variety of different spaces to enjoy and storage for everything. No one would guess there were two toddlers living in the space.

© Alison McWhirter Photography
© Alison McWhirter Photography

The front half is a fully refurbished double fronted weatherboard Edwardian with a calm grey palette that really celebrates the old. The new mimics the striking form of the Edwardian, while employing the use of modern materials built to last. The design intent is to make the space feel endless and not confined; to be able to see right through the house, regardless of where you are. The new open plan living and dining areas boast ample space for entertaining by eliminating the island bench. The client wanted to pack away the amenities behind a wall; so we gave her exactly that.

1st Floor Plan
1st Floor Plan

Upstairs, we managed to avoid frosted windows by dropping fixed windows to the floor (more interactive for the children), while having the openable windows above 1.7m. The raked cathedral ceilings make the space feel larger than it is in the playroom/study area.

The site is less than 300sqm, making it difficult to design a functional 3 bedroom family home with enough subsidiary space for each family member that meets today’s market expectations. So we decided to forget about the market's expectations and make a truly beautiful space that did all of those things simply and perfectly and suited for a family.

© Alison McWhirter Photography
© Alison McWhirter Photography

The result is a space that feels like it's floating. Externally, the facade dons only a slim line window ribboning the bottom leaving a brilliantly blank monolithic wall looming over the back yard. 

© Alison McWhirter Photography
© Alison McWhirter Photography

Product Description. We choose to use Cemintel Barestone for the 1st floor extension cladding as we wanted something substantial while also low maintenance and cost effective. We love that it’s lightweight, comes in large sheets and is easy to install. The finish of the compressed fiber cement panels has an impressive concrete feel to it and is crisp and elegant making the overhanging extension look proud and monolithic, which the project was named after.

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Cite: "Monolith House / Rara Architecture" 21 Oct 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/797479/monolith-house-rara-architecture/> ISSN 0719-8884
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