Ashfield House 2

Context & Design Brief
The client, a family of 3 moving towards 4, and conscious of costs wanted to consolidate any new building to the rear in order to minimise disruption to the front of the house. An open plan living area was sought incorporating Living, Dining and Kitchen. Removal of the rear parts of the house would require relocation of a bathroom and laundry.

With the existing house being a semi detached Federation dwelling it is important to maintain the appearance of the pair of semi-detached dwellings as a single ‘house’. The rear yard and preferred location for the living area, were south of the existing house.

A further request from our client was to lodge the application as a CDC (Complying Development Certificate) in order to avoid the potentially time consuming DA (Development Application) Council process. A CDC has the benefit of a week long (versus several month long) approval, which can be undertaken independently of Council.

Design Approach
A simple plan was developed by incorporating a slanted volume as the new living area at the centre of the rear part of the house with a roof that ‘peeks’ over the rear portion of the existing house to reorient the living room to north. The roof reorientation would facilitate access to controlled sunlight and more ready access to ventilation via clerestory windows. This approach affords a generously scaled and comfortable living area, while minimising any overshadowing over the southern garden space and adjoining neighbours.

The existing roof at the rear of the house was extended to the side and along the western edge of the living room as a ‘skirt’ which defines the location of services spaces and storage alcoves below, including: a new bathroom, laundry, WC, media alcove, a place for an upright piano and storage. The apparent simplicity and compactness of the plan was developed by overlapping lines of circulation granting efficiencies of space and therefore minimising construction cost.

A small third bedroom was created by extending the existing corridor through an existing living room.

Design Outcome
The relatively small house with its additions provides a distinctive house with generosity in both comfort and scale. The contemporary and emblematic roof of the addition sits comfortably with the scale of the existing tiled roof appropriately retreating from the street view by being well set back from the street and preserving the existing streetscape.

The new living area provides a generous and comfortable environment for family living, with the house providing different scales commensurate with the different rooms and their uses in a delightful composition.