What did you set out to achieve with this renovation?
A transformation of the existing living spaces, so that they were light and enjoyable to occupy. The project involved a modest change to some spaces that were average – they were stiff and dark. In terms of light, the larger northern window was transformative. An unusual verandah on the rear of the house – probably not original – was changed to become a usable outdoor room with the Louvretec roof allowing moderation of westerly light. The effects of light enliven the room now. We also created a garden bedroom using the old monopitch lean-to.
We know creativity loves restraint. How did the consent process for a 1900s villa in a conservation area impact the plans?
I originally had more radical plans for a clerestory cut into the living spaces but it was considered too assertive by Council’s heritage advisors. The more restrained scheme delivers essential elements while preserving the dignity of the villa in this street of villas.
You’ve described the approach to this renovation as nuanced. How has that transpired?
Given that we weren’t adding much in terms of space, the scheme was all about nuance: making existing spaces work better. I do like the new verandah, incorporating the Louvretec roof with the feathered-edge cedar soffits and copper spouting. This new roof unites the villa with the unusual existing monopitch lean-to.
Talk us through one of your favourite features – the arch and doorway into the new kitchen and living room.
We located the new door to the living rooms under the arch, making the new work distinct from the old – frameless glass separates the new door from the old arch. And the new transom and mullions provide a great contrast to the shape of the arch.