Let there be Light

Let there be Light


With the help of architect Christopher Polly, the original dwelling has been devoured — a brand new, refreshed home standing in its place. 

home renovations 

Every home needs space and light to make it liveable. For the clients of this dwelling, space and luminescence were very hard to come by. With a family of two adults and two children, a house with three lean-tos restricted living and personal space. The oddly shaped structure did not allow much light or flow through the house and so the entire dwelling was in need of a change.

The transformation into a three-bedroom home with two living spaces was achieved thanks to architect Christopher Polly’s innovative design.

Essentially, it was the rear of the house that required the most innovation, according to Christopher. The front of the house was kept virtually intact, while the rear was the main focus of the project. “The retention of the original front dwelling and existing bathroom enabled old and new fabric to create an alternating sequence of compression and expansion,” he says.

The initial design idea was spawned by the desire to provide separate living spaces for the adults and children. The creation of two living spaces means that one area provides a ‘day’ living area for meal preparation and eating. This spacious room is given more light thanks to the flow created between the room itself and the connected back garden. The second space is an upper living room to be used as an ‘evening’ zone, a space for after-work relaxation, separate from utilities.

Christopher’s incorporation of both new and existing features has meant that while there has been a complete renewal of the interior, certain aspects remain the same to keep in touch with the existing flair of the home.

“The new works entailed the grafting of a singular substantial volume,” he says, “enabling old and new fabric to enmesh a unique spatial sequence along the length of the dwelling that is perhaps counterintuitive to popular planning methods.”

With the three lean-tos all situated at the back of the house, the whole rear of the home was demolished — all lean-tos entirely removed to make room for more light and ventilation. The addition of highlight windows bridging the high and low roofs enables increased access to natural ventilation and light. These windows also give incredible views of the surrounding canopies and sky. The connection between the home and the natural landscape is also inherent in the unusual roofed terrace. Connected by glass sliding doors, the terrace is the portal between the home and the outer world.

The structure’s relationship with the natural world is heightened by the economic and ecologically sustainable features that have been added. Viridian ComfortPlus low-E and grey-toned glass used for the windows and the doors retains heat within the dwelling, while the high-level louvres encourage ventilation and draw hot air up and out of the living areas. Such features are environmentally sustainable alternatives to pricey airconditioning systems. The recycled blackbutt timber floors are a distinctive addition, contrasting nicely with the neutraltoned walls. T5 light fittings and appliances, as well as the water-saving tap fittings, all increase the energy efficiency of this home.

The finished project is one that is both ecologically and family friendly. “A conceptually vigorous form has enabled vastly expanded access to light and ventilation to heighten the spirits of its inhabitants,” Christopher explains, “with a controlled material palette and colour scheme that provides an appropriate counterpoint for their colourful lives.”

The desires of the client were completely taken into account in every aspect of this renovation. The end result provided the the family with a more spacious and liveable home to meet its lifestyle needs.