Hawthorn, VIC, Australia
The Hawthorn Residence project by Chan Architecture is the renovation and extension of a typical 1960’s era Victorian terrace in the exclusive inner-city Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn.
The main challenges faced by Chan Architecture on this project was how to seamlessly transition from the old part of the house to the new, how to create a sense of spaciousness and light in the new living spaces and how to maintain the proper respect for the beauty of the original building.
Chan Architecture firstly separated the new and the old via the insertion of a black timber-lined box, containing the two bathrooms on both sides and accessed through stylish hidden doors. This created a clear visual break between the new and the old, as well as creating a sense of drama when the occupants walk through the dark corridor with the lowered ceiling into the new light-filled living space.
The new living area opens up towards the garden, through a raked ceiling and stacker doors that allows the backyard to be part of the house. This feature allows sunlight to penetrate into the living spaces in the winter months, and for natural ventilation to run through the entire home.
Whilst the living, dining and kitchen areas are part of the same area, they have been defined by the pendant light fittings, furniture and soft floor furnishings.
The material palette was carefully chosen to provide softness and warmth to the clean lines of the design, by using natural materials such as plywood on the ceiling, sheer linen curtains and blackbutt flooring. At the same time the detailing was carefully considered via concealed pelmets for furnishings and lighting, concealed fixings of ceiling linings, flooring, joinery and minimal use of handles so as to not distract from the form and expression of the design.
From a sustainability perspective, passive design principles were adopted throughout the home. These included shaded double glazed windows to the north, large windows on opposite ends of the house for natural ventilation, recycling water from the roof and laundry, solar panels to generate power and extensive insulation and sealing to prevent heat loss. All these factors combine to create a dwelling that requires almost no artificial heating or cooling.
Chan Architecture believes that often the simplest concepts require the most consideration to allow the ideas to flow through from the overall vision to the smallest details. Simple clean lines with carefully detailed junctions, a balanced selection of materials and colours, proper orientation and integration of sustainability principles can create a home that is modern, comfortable, and most importantly, livable.
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