Brunswick West House
Brunswick West, VIC, Australia
Brunswick West House by Taylor Knights Interior Design & Architecture is a small-scale alteration and addition project to a Californian Bungalow home. The addition forms a low-volume, compact intervention on the project’s site, that aims to re-engage the home with the generous north-facing garden beyond.
The modest nature of the project called for a simple, incisive strategy that would sidestep the need for an arduous and costly re-configuration of the existing home.
In turn, Taylor Knights’ strategy looked to repurpose a beautiful ivy-lined sideway, in the process creating a new entry way into the home. This approach split the home into two distinct halves in order to categorise the different needs of the occupants within.
The original rooms now accommodate more private activities, while the Taylor Knights addition forms its new social heart. These new living spaces are arranged in and around three sculptural masonry walls, creating nooks and reveals within the open plan – spaces that could offer a place to sit and share with family, or retreat within at other times.
Through this project Taylor Knights wanted to create a space that would be a truthful reflection of the client’s eclectic and playful sensibility. Pragmatically, it was essential to establish better connections between the new primary living spaces and the garden beyond.
Working in quite demanding industries, the clients ultimately wanted to create a calm and comfortable space to retreat within. A space that would allow them to forget the rigours of corporate life. Taylor Knights facilitated this through a design that creatively combined the living and garden spaces together.
Also essential to the brief was to create moments of privacy and seclusion within the open plan. In response Taylor Knights created nooks and reveals within the open plan of the addition – spaces that could offer a place to sit and share with family, or to withdraw to at other times to read a book by the garden window.
The client also wanted to accommodate their diverse collection of artwork and literature. This offered an opportunity for Taylor Knights to draw upon some of the artwork’s beautiful geometric and tonal elements, which in turn formed a reference for the interior palette within the new pavilion space.
As with many projects of this scale, making incisive moves early on was essential to managing the design and construction process. From the beginning, the project was always about achieving ‘quality over quantity’, and the client was keen to follow through on this idea. As a result, Taylor Knights looked to avoid significant reconfiguration of the existing internal spaces.
The key sustainability driver in this project was to produce a highly efficient, low – volume addition. Simple strategies were also made to re-orientate living spaces towards the north, and by introducing eaves to block the sun in summer and allow light into the space in winter.
The space can also be naturally ventilated, with large openings along the northern façade and high-level openings to the south of the new pavilion space. The unique floor treatment also enabled Taylor Knights to include a two-pour concrete slab method, allowing them to insulate between the two slabs, and thereby making the space highly thermally efficient. Energy efficient glazing and sustainable timber selections have also been used throughout the project.