A 1960s Melbourne Home Gets a Summery Extension Inspired by Caravan Tents

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Inspired by the form and feel of a caravan tent, an extension turns a dark and introspective residence into a bigger, brighter home that draws in refreshing breezes and garden views.

Named BENT Annexe, this extension sits neatly under the eaves of a 1960s home in the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale. To create a modern and efficient home for a family of four and their two dachshunds, architect Paul Porjazoski of BENT Architecture refined the spacious rooms in the existing house and created a separate living area that's filled with daylight and cooling breezes.

The original main house.

The original main house.

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The addition increased the floor area of the single-level house to 2,228 square feet.

The addition increased the floor area of the single-level house to 2,228 square feet.

The new addition opens the interiors to the garden.

The new addition opens the interiors to the garden.

A courtyard creates visual separation between the main house and the addition.

A courtyard creates visual separation between the main house and the addition.

"The new living areas hug the outdoors, giving the impression of a garden creeping inside. Brick walls to the east and west protect the open living spaces from leering neighbors to either side, and focus attention back to the garden," says Porjazoski.

Brick paving crosses the threshold, blurring the boundary between inside and out.   

Brick paving crosses the threshold, blurring the boundary between inside and out.   

In the new living area, a brick plinth is positioned at just the right height for sitting. It extrudes out into the garden to serve as an outdoor bench.

In the new living area, a brick plinth is positioned at just the right height for sitting. It extrudes out into the garden to serve as an outdoor bench.

To make the addition feel as if it’s part of the garden, BENT Architecture separated it from the main house with a green courtyard. This layout provides plenty of air flow and brings light from the north into the master bedroom.

The dining area looks out to the green backyard.

The dining area looks out to the green backyard.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides of the living area create the illusion of a continuous, open space. Concrete floors help with passive cooling.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides of the living area create the illusion of a continuous, open space. Concrete floors help with passive cooling.

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The addition's modern, open kitchen.

The addition's modern, open kitchen.

Different surface materials create textural richness in the kitchen.

Different surface materials create textural richness in the kitchen.

A work counter and breakfast bar.

A work counter and breakfast bar.

When the casement windows are opened, family members can bask in sunlight while reading a book indoors.

When the casement windows are opened, family members can bask in sunlight while reading a book indoors.

The addition opens to a decked dining area with a retractable shading device that provides sun protection in the summer. A circular garden plunge pool lies a few feet away.

A bathroom with a corner shower.

A bathroom with a corner shower.

A simple bathroom vanity.

A simple bathroom vanity.

High-level windows bring sunlight from the north deep into the house to warm the concrete floors. Louver windows can be easily opened to allow cool breezes to flow into the home.

Wood floors and walls warm up the interiors.

Wood floors and walls warm up the interiors.

A skylight brightens the entryway.

A skylight brightens the entryway.

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Light wood floors and cabinetry give the space a bright, contemporary atmosphere.

Light wood floors and cabinetry give the space a bright, contemporary atmosphere.

A seat and storage nook along the hallway.

A seat and storage nook along the hallway.

"BENT Annexe fulfills a need for additional living space, but it also creates a home that feels like it's a part of the garden, drawing adults, kids, and dogs alike out and into the backyard," says Porjazoski.

Floor plan drawing

Floor plan drawing

Related Reading: An Uplifting Melbourne Addition Embodies its Owners’ Sense of Adventure

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record, Interior, Lighting, and Landscape Design: BENT Architecture / @bentarchitecture

Builder: Pole-A-Part Design and Construction 

Structural and Civil Engineering: Marco Tedesco O’Neil