A micro addition of only 5mhas transformed this home.

The addition of a single room transforms this modest home into a series of light filled open plan spaces, from an otherwise dark and cellular home.

Our clients brief was to open the house up to the outdoors; increase the connections between spaces internally; create a logical flow through the house; and to remodel the interiors while retaining the front two bedrooms.

The existing double fronted house is squeezed onto a narrow 7m wide site; is east west facing, with a two storey house on the northern side; with a heritage overlay meaning the rear addition could not be visible from the street.

A series of cold, dark cellular rooms had minimal flow and no connection to the outdoor spaces.

The living space is relocated to the rear of the house to create a direct flow between the kitchen, dining, living and outdoor spaces. The kitchen is relocated to maximize morning sun light and views to the garden.

By pulling the living space back off the northern boundary, and lifting the roof to reach up to the light, northern sun is accessed in the living space in the winter months when the sun is low. The roof is lifted high enough to allow the sun in over the top of the neighbouring double storey house to the north, but kept low enough so as not to be visible from the street or effect the heritage street frontage. Windows are maximized on the northern side of the house to gain the greatest access to sunlight.

While the living space, the deck and outdoor store were the only new areas, a simple re-adaptation of the existing interior liberated the dark cellular rooms to practical, light filled spaces having better use and outlook.

The key to this transformation is bringing light into the living spaces; creating a connection between the living space and the deck; increasing the amenity of the bathroom, kitchen and laundry & improving the flow of circulation between these.

A clear connection to the rear garden is achieved with large sliding doors between the living space and the north facing deck. All floor levels have been rationalised to enhance usability and flow between internal areas. The house gently steps down to the new deck, enforcing a clear connection between inside and out.

The colour and proportion of the green subway tiles in the bathroom and kitchen were chosen to reflect a contemporary version of the existing art deco era tiles.

The existing art deco era subway tiles are referenced in the colour and proportion of the green and white subway tiles used in the bathroom and kitchen.

Improved thermal performance and smart features

In order to design a home with improved thermal performance and smart features the following aspects have been incorporated in to the design:

  • Double glazing to all new and existing windows
  • Operable clearstory windows to encourage the stack effect for ventilation
  • High levels of insulation to new and existing areas, including ceilings and roof, walls and floors
  • Roof mounted Solar Hot Water Service
  • Rainwater harvesting, with tanks hidden under the new deck
  • Hydronic heating throughout

Our happy client’s home is now comfortable and filled with light.

This micro addition was built by Buller Builds, and has been beautifully captured by photographer Tatjana Plitt.

Project Team
Architect and Interior Designer
Cathi Colla Architects
Structural Engineer
Jonicha Construction Pty. Ltd.
Registered Building Surveyor
Anthony Middling & Associates Pty. Ltd.
Buller Builds Pty. Ltd
Tatjana Plitt
Project Details
Architectural Services
Concept Design, Developed Design, Planning Permit Application and Approval, Contract Documentation, Tender and Contract Administration Services
Project Status
Construction Completed 2018

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