Architect in ChargeEva-Marie Prineas
Text description provided by the architects. The project involved a rear renovation to 1930s Californian Bungalow, located in Sydney’s leafy North Shore.
The brief was centered about a reconfiguration of the existing house in order to emphasize the importance of the kitchen as the hub of the home. Poor access to light and air also compromised the amenity of the existing house and was a central challenge around which the design revolved.
To maintain the existing bungalow and its original features, the addition is connected via a glazed link. This link creates two internal courtyards that bring additional light and ventilation into the ensuite and study. Challenged by an extremely tight budget, the design was centered around a shed-like structure that followed the lines of the existing roof form and ensured simple construction. Interventions and manipulations of the roof form were explored as a means to introduce additional light to the new addition.
The size and scale of the living/dining areas were increased to maximise functional and comfortable spaces. These new spaces connect the house with its garden and leafy surrounds. Joinery was designed around a flat pack storage system that was integrated seamlessly into the addition. Oversized dormer windows create a complex and lofty ceiling plane within the open plan space. The highlight windows draw views of the treetops into the kitchen and living areas, creating a strong connection between the house’s interior and its leafy surrounds.
Materials have been kept simple and direct. Black aluminum windows frame garden views as crisp white walls are offset with black detailing. The structural slab has been ground and lightly polished, in keeping with the economy of the design while also maximising the thermal efficiency of the new interior spaces. A generous outdoor timber deck creates extension of the internal spaces. The overall aesthetic is softened by classic timber furniture.
Allen Key House has become a case-study for the development of a modular, repeatable design that has the flexibility to suit the individual and the site. Within this case study, Architect Prineas has explored one and two level options made of a series of modules. These modules are based on a grid system incorporating the double height roof forms that are voluminous, airy, light filled and memorable in Allen Key House. This system of modules allows simple reconfiguration of courtyards, lightwells and stairs to relate to the individual context. The modular system makes the house easy and economical to construct (all in one go or in stages). The design lends itself to the monolithic use of materials. Options could be offered to allow for diversity and varying tastes and budgets.
Product Description: A polished concrete structural slab has been sealed and finished with a matte satin polyurethane as an economical floor finish that provides the house with additional thermal mass.