My clients purchased this site which is a double block with a beautiful, cute, timber cottage on it. At first, we weren’t sure if we were going to maintain the existing house or demolish it and build a new house. We did an exploration of the pros and cons of knocking it over and building a new house, or doing an addition. We resolved that it was the right thing by the community to keep this house because it was quite a cute cottage. It had some unique features even though it was quite dilapidated. I set about designing an addition to that timber cottage.

Some additions can look like a spaceship has landed in the backyard. I wanted the house addition to complement rather than copy the exiting cottage. The addition was something that didn’t try to replicate what was already there. It respected what was there and took upon some of the materials and finishes and form to form the addition. From the street, the house isn’t all that visible. The streetscape and the cute cottage still feature.

My clients wanted a family house with a beachside, relaxed feel to it. They also wanted a flexible design. They wanted the opportunity to live in the house long term.

The guest house area is the original part of the house. The parents with young children live together on the first floor of the rear. As the children grow older and become teenagers, they might choose to live in the front part of the house. Their parents remain at the back or vice versa. It gives them different ways of living in the house. This means that it will be relevant to them for longer period of lives.

Image credits: Rob Frith.