A New Life

A New Life


Home RenovationsA seaside home in Western Australia is given a contemporary makeover by architect Robert Shand
Words by Suni Golightly Photography by Ron Tan

A timber framed turn-of-the century cottage located between sea and river may conjure all sorts of romantic images, but the reality for the owners of this home was a very different story. The living areas were cramped, the kitchen was inefficient, the bathroom and laundry were dysfunctional and the relationship between the indoor and outdoor areas was poor. Realising they needed professional help to make this home reach its full potential, the owners commissioned architect Robert Shand.

In their brief to Shand, they asked that he redesign the rear of the house to include a combined kitchen, dining and family room; new bathroom and laundry facilities; additional storage in the existing bedrooms; and a covered verandah at the back of the house. To achieve this, the entire back half of the house was demolished and rebuilt to contain the new accommodation.

The new bathroom, separate WC and laundry were positioned on the east to act as insulating spaces between the morning summer heat and the interior living spaces. The open-plan family-dining-kitchen occupies the remainder of the extension, with the kitchen located to be convenient to the covered verandah and barbecue area.

The ceiling follows the roof slope to form a cathedral ceiling for height over these large open-plan areas, with a large south-facing gable window above the kitchen to provide the main natural illumination to the interior. A combination of the louvres in the northwest windows, motorised louvred windows in the skylight and louvred windows to the kitchen ensure good controlled natural ventilation through the house.

The existing bedrooms were retained at the front of the house with the family room and kitchen opening out to a roofed verandah and garden beyond. As the ceiling height of the existing rooms and the 35-degree pitch of the roof above made it uneconomical to construct the roof to the rear additions at a higher level than the front roof (to get north sun into the new rooms), two full-height louvred windows in the west wall were angled northwest to reduce the summer heat load as well as allow afternoon sun to penetrate the interior in winter.

To provide as much thermal mass as possible, the new external walls were constructed in reverse brick veneer with brickwork as the internal leaf and timber framing externally to support the sheet and weatherboard finishes over batt and foil insulation. A concrete floor slab with tiled finish and internal brick walls combined to provide the thermal mass needed to retain internal warmth in winter.

The existing roof to the north was amended to accommodate new fixed timber-louvred gable vents, and new vents were installed in the new roof to the south to ventilate the roof space. These alterations rated as 4.5 stars with a score of -9 using the First Rate House Energy Program.

Shand has used his keen eye and skilled hand to transform this house aesthetically and functionally, as well as accommodate the needs and wants of his clients. Functionally, the spaces work both ergonomically and on an Energy Rating level, and visually the home is welcoming and warm, with interesting architectural elements that set it apart.

The project was designed by Robert I Shand Architect 24 Mann Street, Cottesloe, WA 6011
Phone: 08 93840939 or email risarch@bigpond.com
The project was built by A T Wilson Construction
Phone: 08 93975044

Kitchen, family and dining: Ceramic tiles on concrete slab on fill
Living: Existing suspended tongue-and-groove jarrah floor boarding
Bedroom: Existing suspended tongue-and-groove jarrah floor boarding
Outdoor terrace: Brick paving

Existing: Timber frame with weatherboard externally and plasterboard internally
New: Reverse brick veneer — painted timber weatherboards on timber frame externally with batt and foil insulation with rendered and painted brick inner leaf

Fittings to the additions are recessed ELV gimble fittings
Pendant lights in the family room
External wall brackets
Uplighter on dimmer above fridge illuminates ceiling

Benchtop: Laminated plastic
Splashback: Ceramic tiles
Cabinetry: Vinyl-wrapped doors and fixed panels

Benchtop: Laminated plastic
Cabinetry: Vinyl-wrapped doors and fixed panels

Bath: Caroma Verona bath 1672mm long
Vanity basin: Porcher Ovale
Taps: Sussex bath and basin sets
WC: Ideal Standard Sandpiper
Kitchen sink: Clark Cerina
Laundry: Clark Flushline

All new windows are painted timber fitted with either fixed glass or adjustable Breezeway glass louvres. Louvres to the high window in the kitchen are motorised. Glazed double external doors are in clear finished jarrah
All openings have security screens in black stainless-steel mesh, which also act as flyscreens
Louvre supply and installation by Clark Agencies, Mt Helena Perth, Phone: 08 9572 1993

Landscaping, decking, shading or paving details:
As the rear verandah is below the level of the ground, the surrounding walls form seats to this outdoor area, which is roofed and shaded and is where the barbecue is located. The weatherboarding in this area is clear-finished jarrah

“A combination of the louvres in the northwest windows, motorised louvred windows in the skylight and louvred windows to the kitchen ensure good controlled natural ventilation through the house.”