When clients asked Kennedy Nolan to renovate their historic home, they were looking for something "expressive, engaging and memorable." In turn, the firm delivered a simple, striking, and thoughtful revamp that introduces a backyard addition, garden, and swimming pool with unexpected forms and carefully-selected, almost poetic materials.
From the street, one enters the traditional, weatherboard-covered home through the original front entrance. The single-story, wood-framed house holds a small living room and private areas like bedrooms. At the back of the lot, a partially enclosed courtyard holds a small garden and the new addition, which wraps around a circular pool.
Circular windows and arched doorways dramatically distinguish the new addition from the original home. The ground floor of the addition is clad with rectangular bricks painted white, while the upper levels are covered in blackened wood siding. The white brick connects the addition to the white wood siding of the existing bungalow, while the charred timber provides a strong visual contrast.
The pool is unusual for both its central location on the site and its perfectly circular form—but it’s still highly functional. According to the architects, the pool "is imagined for year-round use—for swimming in the summer, and as a dark pond reflecting the facade in winter."
Siting the pool in a partially-enclosed courtyard provides environmental benefits as well: the water feature provides evaporative cooling in the summer, which is further enhanced by passive solar design and cross ventilation. The rear rear rooms enjoy northern exposures with views of the garden.
The new addition houses a bathroom, kitchen, and living area with access to a second courtyard space for dining. A pea-green, closed-tread stair with a curved landing leads to a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom and office.
The whole house playfully echoes the addition’s forms, tones, and shapes. In the kitchen, curved elements support the kitchen island and the stovetop exhaust. The white, rectangular tile is reminiscent of the rectangular bricks of the extension facade, but scaled down to a size appropriate for the space. Sculptural orbs hang from a light fixture above the kitchen island—and the black structure matches the window frames.
Light wood cabinetry extends from the kitchen into the living area, which features curved furniture and sculptural lighting. The sofa fits perfectly into the irregular corner of the room, and it’s capped by a curvaceous end table. A hanging fireplace completes the living area.
Upstairs, the same vertically-oriented off-white tile from the kitchen follows the curves of the master bathroom’s walls. The bedroom and office incorporate simple, minimalist cabinetry (as seen in the lower level) for closet and bedside storage.
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