At first glance, the front of this weatherboard house in Geelong is ‘rather unassuming’, muses director of Tecture, Ben Robertson. ‘But as soon as you open the front door and see through upper-level glass to the sky and through the house to the backyard, you become enamoured with the scale’ he says.
For a family of six with a business to run from home, Tecture were tasked with the mission of creating a multi-dimensional space that could grow with them, and be passed down to the next generation. Additionally, the owners have a large extended family, and it was important to create a home that was proportionally flexible to allow for the whole gang to gather both inside and outside, without disconnecting from each other.
‘When we design projects, we look at the original home for inspiration’, explains Ben. The goal was to design a house that ‘sat gracefully behind the heritage dwelling, and sympathetic in its form when looking at it from the street.’
The new dwelling behind the original facade is significantly different, mostly in scale and volume. Given the large scale of the block (and the needs of this big family!) the challenge for the architects was to design the extension with alternating internal volumes and scales to avoid any hollowness creeping into the space. Internal voids funnel natural light into the large communal areas, while the varying levels of the house were designed to lean into the undulations of the sloping block.
Different heights and elevations separate the sleeping quarters from the living zones, and by wrapping the communal spaces around the garden, pool and alfresco dining area, the architects were able to create a panoramic connection to the back half of the block from the central hub. Large, scalloped glass shower screens feature in the bathroom, while a pair of custom-built bunk beds (double beds on the bottom, single beds on the top!) can cater to a variety of different needs.
This elegant home is sure to endure for many generations to come!