|Architect||Austin Maynard Architects|
|Area||129 m2 (1389 sq.ft.)|
The owners of Newry, a family of four, wanted to renovate their single-fronted terrace home in inner-city Melbourne, on a tight budget. Though the house had already been renovated in the 90s, the two storey addition at the back failed to address the primary issue, a lack of light. The owners asked Austin Maynard Architects to reconfigure their living zone to allow in sunlight and make better use of their limited space.
Through years and years of learning, Austin Maynard Architects have become incredibly incisive dealing with the problems of dark and poorly laid out terraced houses. Though typically, in terms of design and build, the team are more inclined to chop off a limb and add new cyborg arm, the restraints of budget, (as well as ego and eco conscience), led to a more considered and restrained approach.
The ‘90s addition was structurally sound. The bathroom and laundry at the rear was neat and functional. To demolish, simply because it wasn’t in the ideal location, would have been wasteful. Instead, discipline was required to work with what was already there, implementing strategic moves to solve and improve.
Apart from new carpets and joinery in all three bedrooms, the front and the back parts of the house remain largely untouched. The ‘rotten’ middle section of the house was gutted, including the old timber floor, replaced by a thermally efficient, hydronically heated, concrete slab. A wall that once separated the kitchen from one of the smallest, darkest, bleakest dining rooms to ever exist, was also removed, opening up the kitchen/living-dining space. The ceiling, and above it a leaky roof deck outside the main bedroom, was also demolished and a large pitched glass roof with sliding awnings installed.
Part of the client brief was to not build bigger, but to design better. Their old kitchen had a huge amount of wasted space, was very inefficient and difficult to access. The space was compact and so the staircase, kitchen and storage are all combined into one object. A merging of perforated steel and blackbutt timber, concealing doors, drawers and cupboards. In the centre a beautiful Studio Italia bench provides further storage. The exposed garden has been integrated into a bench seat, optimising space in the dining area.
The fundamental concern with most terrace houses is a lack of natural light. This problem is generally resolved with some form of light well, open to the sky with some kind of garden greenery at the base. At Newry there is no lightwell, no ‘box’, the garden greenery is inside, integrated within the space, exposed and easily accessed beneath a glass roof that allows for an abundance of natural light.
In a space that is already tight, the question was, why take away indoor space to capture outdoor space? Instead AMA focused on the conservatory idea; a glass house which brings the outdoors inside, with responsive sliding shade awnings to shield from too much sun. In seconds the raised shading can be remotely closed, (partly, fully, on one side etc), to provide almost 100% protection from UV rays.
Sustainability is always at the core of Austin Maynard Architects’ work. Most old homes, or 80s/90s renovations, tend to be breezy, cold and thermally inefficient. A few straightforward moves can solve these issues. Here, windows and doors have been re-fitted with thermally separated double glazing. Drafty timber floorboards have been replaced with hydronic heated concrete. The installation of a Tesla battery ensures the home not only performs well but pumps excess green energy back in to the grid. With the ongoing dilemma of air conditioning, caused by increased weather extremes, good design and passive solar gains are not always enough. A solution is to work with the natural elements to ensure carbon zero is attained.
|Sink||Franke Kubus KBG 120 Undermount Double Sink|
|Tap||Faucet StrommenPegasi M 30690 Sink Mixer Curve 220|
|Oven||Fisher & Paykel Built-in Oven, 90cm 100L, 9 Function OB90S9MEPX3|
|Cooktop||Fisher & Paykel Induction, 60cm, 4 cooking zones, Touch & Slide controls, Ceramic Glass CI604DTB3|
|Gas Burner Cooktop||Fisher & Paykel Gas on Glass Cooktop 30cm 2 Burner CG302DNGGB1|
|Flooring||Structural concrete slab with burnished finish|
|Splashback||Glass splashback with mirror backing|
|Lighting||Inlite Delta Light STREAMLINER 70S|
Brightgreen T550 H Curve Track Light
LED-P002 – Super slim 8mm LED strip
|Dining Pendant||Semi Pendant, supplied by Cult|
|Windows||Western Red Cedar timber framed windows with clear double glazing|
|Cabinetry||Solid Timber: Black but with clear seal finish|
|Timber Veneer||Timberwood Panels ‘Blackhole Balckbutt’ Timber Veneer|
|Two-pack paint finish||Dulux Black|
|Benchtop||Dekton Sirius 12mm|
|Curtains (Upstairs)||Silent Glass Track & Marco Fabric curtain in ‘Neptune, supplied by Shade Collective|
|Project Team||Andrew Maynard|
|Builder||Moon Building Group|