A Repurposed Transformation – Aroona House by Neil Architecture
Aroona, QLD, Australia
Repurposing the existing home’s late 1980s brickwork as the structural foundation, Aroona House sees the building’s past transformed into a more responsive present incarnation. Neil Architecture brings a fresh contemporary approach, connecting the home to its site through a robust warm materiality.
Unlike a renovation of a heritage and character-rich home, in which preserving the integrity of detail and history is key, the original 1980s double-brick home was void of any notable characteristics and so the approach was subsequently to utilise and repurpose its appropriate parts. As a solid literal and figurative foundation for the new work, the home’s brick construction became the structural support for the new additions. Neil Architecture’s characteristically restrained approach was combined with a contemporary materiality, bringing a series of bold gestures together through a sense of robustness and warmth.
Built by Hood Construction, Aroona House is the result of a series of experimentations with space, form and palette. Adding to the existing, the aim was to retain as much of the original home as possible while adding to both its lower and upper floors in subtle and impactful ways. Upon approach, the existing front half of the home’s structure was retained, and the new addition emerges to the rear, facing northward and embracing its aspect. Upstairs, however, the previous footprint remains intact, with the internal planning reconfigured to suit. The lower floor comprises the garage, formal and informal living, kitchen, dining and two study zones, while upstairs contains four bedrooms. Extending over the below addition is the parent’s retreat wing space, acting as an extension of the suite itself.
Neil Architecture brings a fresh contemporary approach, connecting the home to its site through a robust warm materiality.
The approach to both internal and external materiality stems from a recession of form upon the site. Binding the old and new elements together, the approach of utilising one single colour was key, and the combination of paint and oversized black zinc shingles extending the form acts as a visual and textural connector. Internally, this darker palette was extended where possible, together with warming timber and natural dark stone. As an extension and exploration into a contemporary and layered vision for the spaces, Neil Architecture joined forces Simone Haag, who contributed the furniture, art and styling, adding elements of interest and curiosity throughout.
The approach was subsequently to utilise and repurpose its appropriate parts.
Aroona House brings its existing assembled elements together with a revised and relevant addition in response to its owners’ brief. Using the literal structural bones of the original home, Neil Architecture transforms the aged and unmemorable original house into a contemporary, layered and rich welcoming home. As an exploration of repurposing and clever reuse, the project offers lessons aplenty.