A Melbourne Home Gains a Marvelous Modular Addition
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.
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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.
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.
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.
A striking double-height entrance foyer has been inserted between the old weatherboard house and the new two-story extension.
"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 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.
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.
"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."
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.