December, 2013

This small terrace had a string of small, disconnected rooms and concreted yard beyond the original two storey building. A simple solution was developed that met the owners brief by adding a living area, bathroom, laundry and garage / studio around a simple landscaped courtyard. Upstairs a bathroom was inserted along with a few other small improvements to create a study space.

The design is an exercise in restraint and a jigsaw puzzle all in one. The focus of the addition is the living room at the rear, with its high skillion roof reaching to the north. Several existing levels are removed and rationalised into one set of steps that descend into the living room. Either side of this access way are two small rooms that sqeeze everything possible out of the space in between. The tiny bathroom utilises the change in level to provide a hidden Japanese style bath under a teak deck in the shower. A large set of drawers under the laundry use this same step in a different way and provide important storage space accessed from the living room. The jewel in the crown of this room is the counterweight balanced fold up door that maximises access to the yard whilst not interfering in the spaces immediately adjacent like any other solution would.

The scheme also includes a garage accessed off the rear lane-way and a small self contained studio over. The clients intended this space to be their future 'bolt hole' in the city, so all of the comforts of a larger home are worked in and separate access is possible from the lane-way. A small park opposite this studio provides a welcome outlook and a sense of place. The materiality and roof form of this outbuilding mimic its parent at the rear of the terrace and help to envelop the yard giving it more of a formal courtyard feel.

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