Matt & Gemma Young were approached by the clients to resolve how they might avoid using their stairs in order to access their bedroom and bathroom, which were on the first floor of their home. Installing a lift would certainly have given them access, but would compromise the existing living space. The clients were concerned that the only space available to extend at ground level would not be suitable or large enough to accommodate a full bedroom with built in robe and ensuite. Additionally, this 4.2m by 6.4m space was currently used as a drying court that, if used, would have to be reincorporated into the home. The challenge was to add both space and value to their home without compromising any of the existing amenities, and to compliment both the existing home and surrounding streetscape in the design.
Conceived of as a kind of ‘Chinese box’ the solution is modest, appropriate and carefully crafted to meet, and then extend beyond, the clients’ brief. Each element has been succinctly expressed and then assembled into one tight interlocking unit. The fascia itself has been custom made from anodised aluminium and moulded to allow a favourite tree to “grow through” the front elevation, glimpses of which can be gained whilst occupying the ensuite. The robe too has been expressed externally as a light-frame box – pushing through the main wall and supporting the floating roof plane over. Externally, it is a discrete extension that effortlessly metamorphoses from the existing ‘80s neo-colonial house and connects it to the street where it is flanked by far more contemporary neighbours.