The suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, feature many prewar, wood-framed cottages with sheltered outdoor spaces like porches and verandas. Over time, as families grew and owners sought extra space, these indoor/outdoor rooms were increasingly enclosed, creating dark interiors that are devoid of fresh air and natural light.
Such was the case for a family’s home in the suburb of Clayfield—so they asked Fouché Architects for a contemporary renovation that would open up the "landlocked" rooms that had been walled in over time.
Fouché Architects had several goals in mind for the renovation and addition—they sought to retain the "charming elements of yesteryear" while adapting the home "to drastically increase livability." They also wanted to address the lack of natural light and ventilation, and strengthen the relationship between the trees in the backyard and the living areas.
To achieve these goals, the architects reorganized the interior spaces to take advantage of existing exposures and windows, creating what they describe as "a plan that is free-flowing and conducive to a modern lifestyle."
The kitchen, located on the upper level of the home, spans part of the existing home and part of the new addition. It opens directly to the living room, which in turn opens to an outdoor seating and eating area that acts as the focal point of the upper level. Accessed through large floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the patio brings lots of natural light and ventilation to the upper floor.
The kitchen also takes advantage of natural light, with both a skylight and a large picture window over the sink area. Apertures in the kitchen, living room, and dining area all look out onto the lush backyard, which is filled with mature trees.
The new extension contrasts with the traditional elements of the original bungalow. The interiors are finished in light and dark painted surfaces, with liberal use of New Guinea rosewood and spotted gum—local species that give the home warmth and personality.
The walls throughout the home are covered with board-and-batten wood paneling, painted a light gray for a touch of personality but still enough lightness to brighten the spaces. The bathrooms feature black hexagonal tile and wood vanities that match the cabinetry in the kitchen.
Builder/General Contractor: Wendourie Constructions
Structural Engineer: Westera Partners
Cabinetmaker: Style Kitchens by Design/Stuart May