The latest project by renowned architect Andrew Maynard is a small extension that is big on design
According to Andrew Maynard, “The client’s brief was delightfully loose; to provide a new living and kitchen space for a growing young family and create an open plan with plenty of natural light and high ceilings. A kitchen and a flexible workspace incorporated into the extension rounded out the brief. By balancing these desires against the various restrictions of budget, town planning requirements and available space, tactics were employed to make everything within the space perform multiple tasks, both functionally and conceptually. “The tight budget generated many of the design decisions. The form is a simple box — the strongest form an architect can achieve at a bargain basement price. From the starting point of the simple box we began to express the addition as a covered external space. The original house is very internalised. The extension was to be as open as possible so that when one crosses the threshold between the original and new structures, they feel as if they are entering a covered deck rather than additional internalised space.
“Generally we try to avoid having separate ideas performing different functions. We try to be economic with our concepts and make a couple of key ideas achieve multiple and varied tasks. Every element within the Tattoo House needed to perform multiple functions for maximum return — hence the kitchen bench becomes part of the stair, and the screening required by council reflects heat and glare away from the expansive windows. Despite these challenges, a double-storey, non-domestic scale space was achieved with a basic palette of materials. The new architecture was approached as no more than a deck. Through bringing the external decking up to the original back wall of the home, then turning and folding it where existing structures were encountered, a covered open backyard was effectively created. The detailing of the decking timbers reveals the wrapping pattern further.
“Bi-fold doors retreat to reveal a completely open corner, framed by the box while allowing uninterrupted flow between the extension and the backyard underneath, merging these spaces while retaining the edge of each. The folding doors and post-less corner make the form of the structure appear precarious. The structure playfully feels as though it defies gravity and may topple.
“The stickers became a multi-purpose solution to the dual requirements of council overlooking regulations and glare reduction. Legislation, which dictates 75 per cent opacity to second-storey windows, was resolved with UV-stable stickers rather than expensive and elaborate screening. The tree super graphic creates playful and ever-changing shadows across the interior spaces and is composed of images taken in the local park. The ‘tattoo’ was conceived as a continuation of the tree graphic around the simple white box — to soften the impact of this modern addition to a resolutely 19th-century neighbourhood. Furthermore, the design was a neighbourly gesture. The household to the west has a manicured garden, which is very important to the resident. A stencil of vegetation was created in-house and applied to give the neighbour an additional, though less than manicured, layer of garden.
“The house isn’t as ‘green’ as most of our other projects as it was not an issue that the client was keen to pursue. The client wanted the south facade to be completely glass so that there is a very strong connection with the yard and views to the city from the second level. Regardless, we made the design as green as you can make a glass box. A few of the key tactics were to control the northern glazing. The horizontal slot windows on the northern facade bring direct winter sunlight from over the existing roof into the extension, while cutting out the high summer sun.
“Thermally, we protected the southern facade as much as possible. A large glass southern facade is always going to lose a lot of heat in winter. Therefore, we double glazed the entire facade and specified extremely efficient seals for all the doors and windows. We also installed a water tank between the existing house and the extension, which is connected to toilets and the garden. As for venting — we have small windows on the upper north-west corner of the extension and very large openings on the bottom of the south-east corner. This creates a surprisingly effective chimney effect to drag heat through the voids and out of the extension. Once the garden becomes established with lush indigenous planting, we hope to get a natural evaporative cooling effect to optimise the through breezes. ”For insulation the roof and walls are clad in an extremely efficient foam product that has been rendered. This, combined with the insulation within the walls and roof, protect the extension from the hard morning and afternoon sun in summer, while reducing heat loss in winter.”
The project was designed by Andrew Maynard Architects
35 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic
Phone: (03) 96542523
The project was built by Renovation One
Phone: 0413 749 050
FLOORING: Kitchen: Vic ash
Dining: Vic ash
Stair: painted 10mm folded plate steel
WALLS: All interior: plasterboard
KITCHEN: Benchtop: CaesarStone
Splashback: Colourback glass
Cabinetry: Compact laminate
Oven: SMEG 60cm double over SD012
Dishwasher: Miele G1140 SCu undercounter model
Kitchen sink: Blanco 1¾ sink MCLZL
LIGHTING: Lounge : Galaxy pendant
Generally: Riga wall-mounted lights throughout
OUTDOOR: Landscaping, decking, shading or paving details: Decking is recycled grey iron bark.