A New Sense of Purpose - Northcote Residence by Project 12 Architecture
Northcote, VIC, Australia
An existing Californian bungalow and its ill-fitting 1980s extension is given a new life through a light-filled contemporary two-storey volume to its rear. Project12 Architecture dramatically transforms this Northcote family home.
Set on a generous block in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote, an existing Californian bungalow and its existing addition (a remnant of its time, 1980s in both construction and character) needed a new sense of purpose, one that responded to the needs of its young family and optimised its rare outdoor space. Essentially a major alterations and additions project, the previous addition was replaced with a two-storey volume to the home’s rear that deliberately responded to the site and how the clients wanted to use their home. This volume needed to house key living quarters on a lower level and also allow for two additional bedrooms, a study and bathroom on the upper level.
This volume needed to house key living quarters on a lower level and also allow for two additional bedrooms, a study and bathroom on the upper level.
Key elements of the existing were maintained as a main entry and also as an expression of the original period features. A single-storey volume was additionally inserted along the western external façade to create a mudroom – a room that provides a secondary entry, but also a space for discreetly concealing daily amenity and paraphernalia. The main four rooms of the original bungalow were preserved, and the extension sees the family home open up its internal spaces to the large garden, by Moore Landscaping, to the rear. The intent of this design was to engage with this external space and allow for functions to spill from one indoor room to an external room.
Key elements of the existing were maintained as a main entry and also as an expression of the original period features.
Allowing for the two-storey volume to engage with the garden was further enabled by the considered sliding doors that fully extend, able to be concealed at either end to create an unobstructed transition. Significant internal planning was also required in the existing built area of the home to create a more sensible sense of flow and movement throughout all zones. Built by Topp Construction and styled by Lauren Egan, the new addition saw an overall addition of 15 square metres to the existing floor area.
The approach to materiality and palette was grounded on principles of contrast. As with the mudroom, the upper story of the extension is clad in charred timber to distinguish the new from the old. This blackened timber also causes the extension to be visually recessive from the streetscape. The lower level is then constructed and clad in masonry, as a material that could be used both internally and externally. The transition between these two applications is then expressed by a skylight that runs the width of the original structure. A series of black perforated screens are used to add a textural element and provide varied transparent screening options.
Built by Topp Construction and styled by Lauren Egan, the new addition saw an overall addition of 15 square metres to the existing floor area.
Northcote Residence is a respectful and contextually-sensitive addition and alteration. Its approach to materiality and form shows a contemporary purpose, and its transition and moveable elements allow for a considered connection to its valuable outdoor real estate. Project12 Architecture has selectively maintained and expressed the original and respectfully proposed a typology that responds in a sympathetic and sophisticated way to the site, and to the needs of its young family.