A Creative Brick Extension That’s Designed to Adapt With a Growing Family’s Needs

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By Michele Koh Morollo
This compact extension at the rear of a suburban house in Melbourne, Australia, includes a ground-level garage on its street-facing side, a studio guest suite on the first floor, and a roof deck—all of which are designed to be versatile and convertible.

What's more, is that on the ground level, the north face of the building is connected to a pool and outdoor terrace that links the extension to the main house.

The owners of this incredible home had wanted a new addition to their backyard, which can serve as an independent home for their teenage daughter when she gets older. They turned to Melbourne-based practice Austin Maynard Architects to get the job done.

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The old garage, which also had a studio above it, was too large and encroached on precious outdoor and garden space. To solve this problem, the architects created a new smaller, tighter, taller, and more efficient space that would maximize the rear yard while minimizing its footprint. 

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Sited at a street corner, the sturdy red brick structure, which is taller than the existing house, acts as a barrier that provides enhanced privacy for the main building. 

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The living zones of the existing house face south and open up onto the new terrace and pool. 

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From the terrace and pool, residents look up at the high-rising wall of the brick structure, which is punctuated with bright blue-and-red bricks that jut out to create a unique pattern. 

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Constructed out of recycled bricks, these contrasting red-and-blue glazed bricks on the northern, pool-facing wall create an interesting play of light and shadow when the sun shines upon them. 

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The solid brick facade is softened by a roof parapet with a U-shaped curve, a sculptural spiral staircase that links the pool to the roof deck, arched doors, and circular windows. 

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The brick-faced extension was designed with purpose and living needs in mind. 

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The ground level was constructed with high ceilings so that it can be remodeled in the future to accommodate more people. 

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The door of the garage can be removed and replaced so that the space can be transformed into an office or shopfront if desired. It could also be adapted into a generous entryway leading into the main living lounge.

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