House respectfully upgraded and restored with a new openness that connects the areas

Architects: Foomann Architects
Location: Albert Park, Australia
Year: 2016
Area: 3.336 ft²/ 310 m²
Photo courtesy: Willem-Dirk Du Toit

“The extension to this inner-city heritage home is intended as a tidy, fastidious timber clad structure. An opportunity for meticulous details. The inhabitants moved from their own homes into this new house together; consolidating their extensive art collections and large extended families. Art, furniture and objects were scheduled and located during the planning process. The Dining Room comfortably accommodates twenty-four diners, located in a prime position facing the garden, and features an acoustically treated ceiling.

The original part of the house was respectfully upgraded and restored with a new openness that connects sitting and study areas. A restrained palette was used throughout with slight shifts between spaces, creating a subtle transition between new and old and providing each room with its own feel and identity. The design balances a desire for transparency and solidity that is illustrated in the execution of the stair. At the literal and figurative centre of the house, the cranked staircase is a substantial object that permits views to the north courtyard and acts as furniture facing the kitchen.

The extension features cedar cladding and straps that create a grid and detailing challenge the rest of the building responded to. The language extended to a new facade on the existing rear two-storey studio that is the primary focus of views from the main house. This exacting timber detailing made the project a challenging carpentry exercise that the builders were equipped to achieve.”

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