An Uplifting Melbourne Addition Embodies its Owners’ Sense of Adventure

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By Lucy Wang
On a double-fronted block in Melbourne, a light-filled extension enables a couple to comfortably embrace the outdoors.

When a couple returned to Melbourne after years of traveling and working abroad, they sought an eco-friendly home extension that would capture the adventurous spirit of their overseas experience.

Impressed by the sustainably minded projects of Ben Callery Architects, the clients tapped the local firm for their renovation. To create the light-filled addition, the team prioritized viable, renewable features such as high levels of insulation, double glazing, as well as recycled and locally sourced materials.

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The new extension houses an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living space. The hallway, flanked by bathrooms, leads to the original home that comprises three bedrooms and a lounge.

The new extension houses an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living space. The hallway, flanked by bathrooms, leads to the original home that comprises three bedrooms and a lounge.

As a result, the team has designed a corrugated metal roof to glide over the 1,650-square-foot home, which gives rise to the project’s name—the Glide House.

"The roof twists symmetrically around a central ridge, soaring up and out over the backyard to embrace the winter sun," explain the architects. They also added dramatic sweeping eaves to shelter the dwelling from harsh sunlight.

Sweeping eaves protect the home from unwanted solar gain.

Sweeping eaves protect the home from unwanted solar gain.

The north-facing extension embraces a verdant landscape of native trees through clerestory windows and large operable glazing that fill the interior with natural light, which blurs the lines between indoors and out.

"The triangular highlight frames views of the old Edwardian pressed metal roof and chimneys," the architects say of the triangular window to the left. "Like a traveler reflecting upon their hometown from abroad, we look back at the original part of the house, see its foibles and imperfections, and love it all the more for these eccentricities."

"The triangular highlight frames views of the old Edwardian pressed metal roof and chimneys," the architects say of the triangular window to the left. "Like a traveler reflecting upon their hometown from abroad, we look back at the original part of the house, see its foibles and imperfections, and love it all the more for these eccentricities."

Charred hardwood sourced from the Eco Timber Group clad the exterior. Operable glazing now establishes a seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

Charred hardwood sourced from the Eco Timber Group clad the exterior. Operable glazing now establishes a seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

"The materials are an eclectic collection (as is a traveler's way), selected to express and accentuate the form: The lines of the white timber ceiling express the shape of the hyperbolic paraboloid roof," continues the firm. "The raw, charred-black timber cladding contrasts the white ceiling to heighten the sense of lightness."

The kitchen's overhead cabinets have been built from solid timber recycled from re-milled Messmate hardwood floorboards.

The kitchen's overhead cabinets have been built from solid timber recycled from re-milled Messmate hardwood floorboards.

Dainty scallop tiles cover the kitchen backsplash.

Dainty scallop tiles cover the kitchen backsplash.

Recycled and locally sourced materials are used throughout the home, including recycled timber cabinetry, recycled brick pavers, and timber windows built of locally sourced hardwood.

Caesarstone countertops (Ocean Foam) in the bathroom complement the tiled walls and flooring.

Caesarstone countertops (Ocean Foam) in the bathroom complement the tiled walls and flooring.

Shop the Look
Bambüsi Bamboo Bath Mat
Bambüsi Bamboo Bath Mat
As part of the Bambüsi collection of 100% natural bamboo products from Belmint, this beautiful and minimalist floor and shower mat is a wonderful addition to your life and decor.
Kohler Vox Rectangle Vessel Sink
Kohler Vox Rectangle Vessel Sink
Sleek and contemporary, the Vox Rectangle vessel-style sink features a wide, shallow basin and rounded edges in true minimalist fashion. Countertop installation ensures this sink will stand out in your bathroom as a striking focal point.
Aesop Reverence Duet
Aesop Reverence Duet
From Aesop, a two bottle kit containing exfoliating formulas to cleanse and hydrate the hands. Featuring Aesop's Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash and Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm. Dispense a single pump of Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash into damp hands, lather then rinse thoroughly.
A strategically placed skylight bathes the shower area in natural light.

A strategically placed skylight bathes the shower area in natural light.

Adherence to passive solar principles and an emphasis on high thermal mass ensures stable climates year-round, along with a level of natural comfort that the clients say is "hard to leave."

A look at the floor plan.

A look at the floor plan.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Ben Callery Architects

Builder/General Contractor: Truewood Construction

Structural Engineer: Keith Patrick Engineer

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Chris Cabinets