Let the Light In, North Fitzroy

Architecture Residential North Fitzroy , Australia

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1. Let the Light In

North facing windows and a pitched ceiling allow natural light to flood the living spaces.

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2. Rejuvenated Kitchen

The relocation of the kitchen provides a seamless connection to dining and living spaces and views to the garden outside.

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3. Sunbathed Outdoor Living

A timber-lined outdoor living space creates warmth and privacy in a previously under-utilised and exposed space.

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4. Heritage Character from Old to New

Heritage features of the existing home were retained to allow the home to show its charm throughout.

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5. Bright Bathroom

Splashes of colour and refined fixtures bring new life into an existing tired bathroom.

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Small ground floor plans

6. Existing and Proposed Ground Floor Plans

Cathi Colla Architects alterations and additions to existing residence, Fitzroy North.

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Description

A micro addition of only 5 square metres new floor area adds a light filled open plan space to a previously dark and compact home. Our client’s brief was to open the existing dark and box-like house up to the light and to the outdoors; increase the connections between internal spaces; and to create a logical interconnection of spaces and functions through the house.

The existing double fronted house is squeezed onto a small 7 metre wide site. The rear of the home is east-west facing. To the north of the home is a two storey dwelling. The home is within a heritage overlay.

The existing house was a series of dark cellular rooms having minimal flow and no connection to the outside. The design response relocates the living space to the rear of the house to enable a direct flow between the kitchen, dining, living and outdoor spaces. The new location of the functional and compact kitchen maximises morning sunlight with views to the garden. Setting back the living space from the northern boundary, and angling the roof to reach up to the light, northern sun is allowed into the living space in the winter months. In summer, roof eaves shield the harsh sun high overhead. Windows have been designed to maximise the greatest opportunity for solar gain, over the top of the neighbouring double story dwelling.

A clear connection to the rear garden is achieved by including large sliding doors between the living space and the north facing deck. Floors and the deck are all on one level, rationalised to enhance usability and flow between internal areas.

Our happy client’s new home is now comfortable, filled with the best kind of daylight.

Questions and Answers

What were the solutions?

The living space is relocated to the rear of the house to create a direct flow between the kitchen, dining, living and beyond to the outdoor spaces.
Setting back the living space from the northern boundary, and sloping the roof to reach up to the light, northern sun is allowed into the living space in the winter months. In summer, roof eaves shield the harsh sun high overhead.
The deck areas creates the 'outdoor room', adding additional area, on the same level as the home, for entertaining or relaxing in the sun.

What was the brief?

- To open the existing dark and compact house up to the light and the outdoors.
- To increase the connections between spaces internally; and to create a logical flow through the house.
- Make the most of the site.
- Get more natural daylight.
- Achieve all of this on a tiny budget.

What were the key challenges?

The existing house and its surrounding context proved to be a challenge. The existing double fronted house is squeezed onto a small 7 metre wide site. It is east-west facing, with a two storey dwelling on the northern side (blocking potential sunlight). Additionally, there was limited construction access to the tiny site and a very small construction budget.

Details

Project size

91 m2

Site size

176 m2

Project Budget

$270000

Completion date

2018

Building levels

1

Project team

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Cathi Colla Architects

Architects