A Melbourne Home Gains a Marvelous Modular Addition

A Melbourne Home Gains a Marvelous Modular Addition

In a leafy Victorian suburb, a prefab extension offers a superb solution to a family’s need for extra space.
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When a family in Melbourne outgrew their home, they decided to stay put and seek a modular extension rather than move out. 

With the help of local design practice Modscape, the family gained a new energy-efficient addition that not only transformed their homelife for the better, but also allowed them to live "disruption-free" during the construction process.

The lower level of the Ivanhoe extension is wrapped in black-stained timber, while the upper portion features blackbutt vertical cladding.

Built offsite at Modscape’s modular construction hub in Brooklyn, the Ivanhoe extension was installed in just one day. With the help from cranes, the modules were lifted up and over the existing house to avoid damaging mature trees.

"To accommodate for the sloping site, the extension is terraced down the block with a slight change in levels between the original house, the entrance way, and the new modular living area," adds the firm.

The modules were installed in just one day.

Prefabrication allowed the clients to live in the house up until four weeks prior to the installation date, when they moved out to make way for demolition and site preparation.

Blackbutt timber has been applied to the walls bookending the kitchen unit.

The white kitchen cabinetry is by Nikpol. The sink is integrated into a stainless steel benchtop.

The nearly 2,000-square-foot extension has been split into two floors. An open-plan living area, kitchen, and dining space occupies the ground level, while a spacious master suite takes up the entire first floor. The existing home has been turned into the "kids domain," featuring three bedrooms and two baths.

Tongue-and-groove Piccolo oak flooring is used throughout the home to create continuity between the existing house and the new extension. The gas fireplace is by Clean Face.

A giant wall of glass connects the living spaces with the outdoors. The double-glazed, low-e windows are thermally broken with black-powder coated frames.

A striking double-height entrance foyer has been inserted between the old weatherboard house and the new two-story extension.

Open-riser stairs lead up to the master suite.

"The goal was to create ample space for the whole family to gather and relax. From the outset, the clients’ brief revolved around the kitchen with the arrangement, layout, and finishes carefully considered," the firm adds.

"As soon as you walk in the front door, your eye is drawn to the circular skylight above, which casts directed light to the open stairs below," explains Modscape.

As the heart of the home, the centrally placed kitchen offers an abundance of storage with the addition of a butler’s pantry. The light-filled living spaces overlook views of the landscaped backyard through large floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors.

Stacked sliding doors achieve an open corner in the dining room for a seamless connection with the outdoors.

The Ivanhoe extension’s connection to nature also carries over to its material palette of sustainably sourced blackbutt timber that clads the exterior and is used as an accent indoors. 

The interiors are minimally dressed with white walls and pale oak floors to keep the focus on the lush landscape.

The curved battened screen provides privacy for the master suite and gives the extension sculptural appeal.

"Yet it’s when the first-floor timber form starts to curve and becomes a battened screen that gives way to the house’s personality," states the firm. 

"The screen is practical, too—it provides additional sun-shading and privacy, ensuring there is no overlooking issues into the neighbor’s backyard. For the adults, the master suite upstairs offers a peaceful haven, cantilevering out to the garden."

The view from the outdoor patio looking up and inside the curved battened screen.

For energy efficiency, the modular extension has been fitted with energy-saving and water-saving fixtures, reverse-cycle heating and cooling, as well as a 2,000-liter rainwater tank. 

Solar passive principles have been applied and cross ventilation has been optimized, with access to natural light that pours through the double-glazed windows and thermal break frames.

Colorbond gutters, downpipes, flashings, and cappings have been installed.

White-painted plaster walls and tall ceilings make the living space feel bright and airy.

The kitchen island is covered with a Dekton countertop.

Elegant Perini Monroe ceramic tiles line the kitchen backsplash.

The kitchen is fitted with a Highland ceramic glass cooktop and a built-in oven.

A look at the site plan, two floor plans, and the elevation.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record / Builder: Modscape

Landscape Design: Mud Office

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