Renovating Heritage Houses

Brunswick 04 House

Works to this Brunswick house are typical of many of the inner city houses in heritage zones that we design. Generally with heritage houses the existing original house is kept intact, thermally upgraded and renovated as required. Opportunity to open up the existing building to the outdoors is also explored, in order to obtain natural light, air and views that would not have been originally there, thus increasing the perceived size and livability of these existing spaces. Retaining, upgrading and adding to existing heritage houses allows for the opportunity to connect with the heritage of a place as well as create individual and unique spaces in a contemporary home. Original features and materials including floors can add character. In this instance we retained the existing Baltic pine floor and used a 100% natural oil finish which gives the timber a very soft natural feel.

With each house we work on, we like to address the sun, to maximize solar access for passive heating and natural daylighting. In this instance we connected a new building to the rear of the existing heritage building - which was to the south of the existing building. The new building was designed to zone the wet areas together and locate a new family area directly adjoining the back garden. In order to maximize solar access, a north facing clerestory window was added to allow to high levels of northern light into the main living space all day, maximize the outdoor space and maintain a closeness to the surrounding garden .

Materials and finishes were carefully chosen to achieve the sustainable outcomes that the client sought, including using a geo-polymer concrete slab for thermal mass and sustainably sourced timber cladding.

The new building is a light filled garden room that transforms an originally internally focused heritage house into a series of contemporary living spaces with alternative room types for varying functions that suit different times of the day.

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