Our project consists of alterations and additions to an existing 1980’s home on Solomon St in Mosman Park.
Our brief was to add a double garage off a rear laneway, augment storage, reconfigure the existing master bedroom, increase the size of existing minor bedrooms, and refurbish existing bathrooms. The budget was $200,000.00, construction cost marginally more.
The project was phased, with bathroom renovations comprising stage 1 (owner build) and the balance, stage 2 (registered builder).
With exception of bathrooms, the briefed program was to be located to the rear of the existing home, in order to establish a connection with the existing service lane.
We therefore conceived of the addition not as growing out of the existing architecturally designed home, rather as an element that comes at the home from the laneway.. collides and embeds itself into the fabric of the existing.
This element is given the form of a box to keep it visually distinct from the pitched roof of the existing. It is further differentiated by cladding it in ‘supersix’ fibre cement sheeting – a language borrowed from the nearby laneway fencing – and painting it black.
The master bedroom previously terminated a narrow corridor of the original house. It was full-width and oversized. Its north-facing windows were unshaded and there was no access to the parking bays at the rear.
By orchestrating an offset collision between the new and the existing, we were able to i) create a north-facing verandah for the master bedroom to shade windows, reduce the latter to a more appropriate size, create a corridor for garage access, introducing a surprising termination to the narrow corridor.
The addition is punctured in its centre by a courtyard that provides spill-out space for a new store / workshop and amenity for the reconfigured master bedroom. It has been envisaged as a carved out space and is treated visually distinct from the black exterior.
Bay window seats were added to existing minor bedrooms to increase perceived space and provide a space for sitting and reading. Original cabinets from the master bedroom were reconfigured for use in the minor bedrooms, appropriated to their new locations with sections of contrasting infill joinery.
The extension was constructed in an insulated sandwich panel (SIPS) for reasons of cost and time reasons. The system is structural and limits the use of structural steel to large spans only (eg: garage). The shell was constructed in days, minimising obstructions to the laneway and overall intrusion to the client, who occupied the house during construction.
All windows were off-the-shelf double-glazed units from Bunnings (a hardware store).
The exterior comprises two decking platforms, a path made of compacted gravel fines, and an expanse of rainbow stone otherwise. A concrete blockwork wall encloses the yard, and a perforated metal gate gives access to and from the laneway.