Single-level Claremont Residence by David Barr Architect
“This single-level extension to a Claremont ‘federation’ house is based around a series of north-facing brick volumes connected by discreet landscaped areas. The new forms are echoes of the sheds and outhouses that stood on the site prior to the extension, in recognition of the property’s long history and the beautiful garden that has grown around it.
From the street a minimal steel fence puts the original heritage-listed house (circa 1900) on display. The 170 square metre extension is almost entirely obscured; a single projecting side entrance the only indication of the project from the street. A lightweight, contemporary carport foreshadows the forms and materials of the rear extension.
A clear axis informs the new addition’s planning, with each of the main spaces (dining room, living room, bedroom) located separately. Service areas are tucked symmetrically to the side of the central kitchen and dining area. The master bedroom wing is accessed to one side, the living room to the other. Minor works within the existing house, including the reinstatement of a roof top ‘widow’s walk’ platform, complement the rear extension, which protrudes from under the existing roof.
The project extends the house into the garden, wrapping around a large weeping willow, the plan shifted and manipulated to capture views of neighbouring trees and aspects. Distinct spaces are created externally (a protected courtyard with external fireplace, a formal lawn, a raised external dining area and pool) and then drawn back into the house through large areas of high-performance glazed openings.
The project’s materials are a juxtaposition between the economical brickwork, ‘bagged’ and painted white, and the dark steel and battened timber elements that link them. Large sliding doors and fixed windows open the major rooms to the garden and courtyards. Deep window reveals open to the north, while operable timber screens shield western windows from the sun.
Internally a restrained palette of burnished concrete floors, painted plaster walls and American Walnut timber joinery gives the client’s art and furniture collection prominence, while simultaneously creating a backdrop against which the client’s young family adds vitality.”
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