Text description provided by the architects. The Lantern House extension is a project to re-energise the rear of a double storey Victorian house located in Melbourne’s quiet inner city suburbia. The extension replaced the original oversized alfresco with a traditional roofline design with an inviting and high functioning indoor and outdoor space that blends seamlessly into the main house and garden. The kitchen area was extended to create a new indoor dining space complete with a gas fireplace, which in turn flows into a reimagined outdoor lounge and kitchen area with a built-in BBQ, perfect for entertaining.
The extension is built along the northern boundary of the site, a position that receives limited direct sunlight. To invite more natural light into the extension, a section of the ceiling was raised to create an elevated box with translucent walls, akin to a large skylight. Made of a translucent polycarbonate material, the upper walls softly filter and diffuse light that enters the space. From the exterior, the upper volume of the extension takes on a lantern-like appearance.
The project has a specific emphasis on the connection between indoor and outdoor living. The intention is to create a sense of ambiguity between indoor and outdoor spaces. Large glazed openings and continuity of material throughout the extension contribute to achieving this design outcome. The raised “lantern” follows through from the dining area into the outdoor lounge to create an uniform sense of spatial quality.
Some contrasts are found between the internal and external areas – while the interior utilises luxurious refined natural marble finishes, the exterior employs raw and hardy textures such as in the brick façade and concrete paving. Specific attention is also paid to framing the outward facing view from inside the extension, particularly to direct the viewer’s line of sight towards the wall of mature ficus plants planted along the rear fenceline.