HIND­SIGHT: NA­TURE’S COURSE

A hum­ble her­itage home is given a breath­tak­ing mod­ern ex­ten­sion to cel­e­brate the ma­jes­tic jacaranda tree that ex­isted long be­fore it did

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

TO TELL THE FULL STORY OF THE “JAC” HOUSE, you need to go back to a time when the house it­self didn’t ex­ist. Long be­fore it be­came home to a fed­er­a­tion-era, four-room cot­tage, the site in an in­ner western sub­urb of Sydney be­longed to the Geld­ing Broth­ers Vic­to­rian Nurs­ery, and dur­ing this time, a young jacaranda tree was planted. Fast­for­ward 117 years to the re­de­vel­oped block with its com­pact cot­tage, and it was this tree that in­spired the home’s mag­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion. Anita Panov and An­drew Scott from Panovs­cott Ar­chi­tects were en­gaged by the home­own­ers to de­sign an ex­ten­sion that would give them greater ac­cess to the en­vi­ron­ment around them, al­low­ing them to en­joy the chang­ing sea­sons and land­scaped gar­dens to full ef­fect. “We spoke about the things we nor­mally would in a first meet­ing as we walked around the house,” An­drew re­calls. “We then ar­rived at the back door, and there be­fore us was the most as­tound­ing jacaranda tree we had ever seen in an ur­ban con­text.” Then and there, he and Anita de­cided to ap­proach the project as if they were work­ing be­tween two ex­ist­ing struc­tures – the cot­tage it­self and the grand old jac. Re­tain­ing many of the home’s orig­i­nal fea­tures, they added a mod­ern stacked ex­ten­sion to the rear, with a band of con­crete mark­ing the tran­si­tion be­tween the two. Sev­eral glass win­dows, huge in scale, were in­cor­po­rated to al­low nat­u­ral light to flood in while pro­vid­ing a de­light­ful view of the 12-me­tre tall tree.

BLEND­ING OLD WITH NEW

Built in 1917, the cot­tage was in great con­di­tion. As such, the front rooms re­main un­touched, with the or­na­men­tal ceil­ings, pic­ture rails and ex­posed pine floors pre­served. Then, as you walk down the hall­way to­wards the new ex­ten­sion, a band of pol­ished con­crete leads to the open-plan liv­ing/kitchen/ din­ing space with its gar­den views. “This mo­ment is de­signed to be jaw­drop­ping, a dy­namic spa­tial mo­ment which cel­e­brates the ex­pe­ri­ence of home­com­ing,” An­drew says.

MERG­ING IN­DOORS AND OUT

With the “out­ward-look­ing” brief well and truly met, the clients also re­quested some “in­ward look­ing” ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “We talked a lot about how the trans­formed house would need to be gen­er­ous enough to al­low them to be at one mo­ment com­fort­ably alone, and at oth­ers, able to host large gather­ings of friends, which they clearly en­joyed,” Anita tells. The so­lu­tion? A se­ries of doors that slide into con­cealed wall pock­ets so the home­own­ers can open up or close off rooms as they choose.

IM­POR­TANT ECO AS­PECTS

Of course, a mod­ern trans­for­ma­tion of a his­toric home re­quires a de­gree of sus­tain­abil­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness. Panovs­cott re­tained and reused bricks and pine floor­boards from the cot­tage in the new court­yard wall and hall ex­ten­sion re­spec­tively, while en­ergy-ef­fi­cient hy­dronic heat­ing lies within the con­crete slab. Ven­ti­la­tion hatches in the up­per level’s glass pan­els are an­other nat­u­ral heat­ing/cool­ing fea­ture, al­low­ing hot air to es­cape while draw­ing cool air from be­low.

DE­SIGN TIP A VER­TI­CAL VOID HEIGHT­ENS THE FEEL­ING OF EL­E­VA­TION AND LETS IN PLENTY OF NAT­U­RAL LIGHT

Hid­den de­tails For this home’s ex­te­rior, spot­ted gum tim­ber cladding was cho­sen for its dura­bil­ity, its sub­tle im­per­fec­tions and nu­ances and the fact that it grows not far away in the re­gion’s coastal forests.

Rise and shine The up­stairs rooms – ac­cessed by a nar­row black­butt tim­ber stair­case, as demon­strated by the ar­chi­tects’ son – are a pri­vate oa­sis, filled with am­ple day­light.

Hang­ing out Two AIM pen­dants from Euroluce dif­fuse and di­rect light over the din­ing ta­ble. Kitchen specifics Honed Cala­catta mar­ble bench­tops sing against the ve­neer-faced join­ery.

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