Best of est | Eclectic Extensions

  • Our homes aren’t exempt from needing to change with the times. Even in the most beloved abodes, what was once necessary or relevant can find itself outdated. That might be a lack of family functionality, or a home devoid of shared spaces and sunlight. Most commonly, it’s that feeling of being short on space.

    Home extensions and additions are all about the old and the new. While heritage controls and limitations can make this a bugbear, salvaging the existing is not only sustainable, but has long been praised as the best opportunity for creativity and innovation. We at est know extensions aren’t just about making room, but making way for smarter spaces. We’ve rounded up a series of eclectic extensions raising the roof — and the bar — on how we can live in our modern world, on old foundations.

    With the desire for an extension, the owner of this three-storey Victorian terrace wasn’t after a white glossy look, rather an addition that felt already lived-in. To meet this brief, Simon Astridge softened the additional structure with brickwork and natural plaster, chosen for their humbleness and textural depth. It’s a friendly dialogue between old and new, respecting and retaining the old while introducing a contemporary palette of terrazzo, timber and pastel paints. Perhaps most striking about this petite extension is the circular window, offering a view that’s completely outside the box.

    Photography by Nicholas Worley

    “The extension offers the chance for the owner to have a contemporary space in a 150 year Victorian home.”

    — Simon Astridge, director of Simon Astridge Architecture Workshop

    Techne Architecture and Interior Design have plenty of success stories when it comes to creatively reinventing an existing abode. Noting Techne’s reputation, the clients of this heritage home requested their intervention, to better suit the practical demands of a growing family. The home’s unusual shape allowed only limited options for adding on, so Techne developed a unique concept of several linked pavilions, wrapped in weatherboard and clad with standing-seam metal. At the rear, the sculptured ‘saddleback’ roof unfolds onto the backyard for an effortless indoor-outdoor experience. Keeping to a consistent palette and materiality throughout, Techne have brought modern Australian style to a seaside abode, without tampering with its quaint charm.

    Photography by Tom Blachford

    From the get-go, Ryan W. Kennihan Architects wanted to deviate from the ‘two up, two down’ house that typically creates a visual divide between the existing and the extension. Rather, Ryan W. Kennihan Architects blurred the lines between both to conceal an elegant brick gable facade at the rear of a Dublin terrace. With ‘surgical’ precision, Ryan W. Kennihan Architects have created several new openings, establishing a site line from the front living space through the depth of the house. The extension quietly exaggerates the original brick features of the home, by removing the plaster and revealing the timber and concrete, in the company of sloped skylights and a clerestory window.

    Photography by Aisling McCoy

    “Our approach was surgical. Through a series of cuts and openings a visual connection is created between the existing redbrick terrace house and our new extension.”

    — Ryan Kennihan, director of Ryan W. Kennihan Architects

    Local firm Templeton Architecture’s extension onto this eighties home wasn’t huge. While they added on marginally, the renovation process prioritised an overhaul of the home’s current layout, for better flow and enjoyment of the shared spaces. Perhaps what makes this extension so memorable is the iconic wall of glass, that looks out onto the backyard and over the pool. The void lets light in from all angles, letting you bask in the natural light atop of the custom window seats. Templeton Architecture, this extension is an exemplar of saving the best till last (or at the rear).

    Photography by Sharyn Cairns and Duncan Jacob

    Creating more with less was the primary concern of Therefore Architecture, in their extension onto a Victorian-era home in metropolitan Melbourne. The firm acknowledged the heritage foundations, with the aim of providing a small footprint with a multitude of spaces. Adding just four square metres to the original floor plan, Therefore Architecture envisioned a new, north-facing pavilion around a central courtyard to strengthen the owner’s connection to the surrounding garden. Efficient planning has packed in a second bathroom, living area, laundry and outdoor space, while giving greater access to daylight ventilation. The result? Dynamic spaces that shift in level, volume and vistas, all contributing a sense of flexible family living.

    Photography by Rory Gardiner

    “The original form stands tall, grounded via a bluestone plinth with red brickwork and a hipped roof. The new pavilion inverts and acknowledges these qualities with a lowered roof form, in-situ concrete datum and contrasting brickwork.”

    — Alex Lake, director of Therefore Architecture

    Going up would be the logical space solution for a one-bedroom worker’s cottage on a tight budget and in a confined area. But this was “virtually impossible” for Whiting Architects, forced to conceal all change from the heritage street. The clever minds at Whiting Architects team responded to the design challenge with an extension emulating an angel’s wing, ensuring light, privacy and captivating views. The new wing-like element with perforated panels forms the second-storey of the abode, said to appear as “protecting the building beneath”. Inside, there is no indication of the second level from the ground floor, concealed through what looks like a kitchen cupboard.

    Photography by Tess Kelly

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