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Kensington House

Located in the inner city Melbourne suburb of Kensington, this project is a small alteration and addition to the rear of an existing Victorian double fronted weatherboard house.

There were two special circumstances involved in the brief for this project. Firstly the clients both work from home. Secondly, one of the clients is wheelchair bound.
The brief was to provide a new extension to the rear of the building, consisting of a bar (an area for the clients to enjoy their love of wine and entertainment), a new office, library area, and a new master bedroom with ensuite, as well as provide as much accessible external area as possible, including views onto an existing established garden. Another key aspect was to use rich coloured timbers, as the warmth of these materials would provide a beautiful environment in which to live and work.
The bar area acts as the transitional space that defines the existing part of the house from the new. It is also an area where, through tall linear windows, one looks onto a beautiful fernery to the south side of the building, an existing crepe myrtle, camellia and magnolia trees. Large sliding doors open from this space onto an intimate north facing deck area. Sashless double hung windows are used within the cedar window frames, and when opened allow cross ventilation during the warmer months.
The large north facing timber deck was designed to bring light into the new extension and provide an “outdoor room” for the clients. A large eave, detailed in black steel and timber cedar battens, provides shade and shelter when required. A ramp wraps around the side of the building providing access to a lower deck in the rear garden area.
The tall linear windows frame external views and control the shards of light that enter the space, and highlight the richness of the recycled red iron bark floor.
The internal joinery separates the spaces. Rather than reading as a solid wall it floats, defined by the materials; a combination of Black Japan stained hoop pine plywood and the strong grain of the fumed ash veneer.
Each new room enjoys views out onto the warm western red cedar walls, deck and garden areas, bringing the outside experience of the building in.
Timber is used extensively throughout the project. The client was keen to use sustainable materials where possible. Western Red Cedar was chosen for the external cladding for its warmth, rich colour and durability. The windows and doors are also cedar; their linearity defined by a timber batten either side of the frame. The less visible external walls (parallel to the boundary) are clad in weatherboard, connecting the new extension back to the existing building.
The flooring to the new addition is recycled red iron bark. Providing a depth and richness within the space both by day and night.
The joinery is a combination of stained hoop ply wood and fumed ash timber veneer.
The use of materials assists in reinforcing the design intent of the extension, providing a rich, warm environment for the clients who spend a great deal of their time at home.

Timber framed construction – Western Red cedar external cladding, Western Red Cedar windows and doors, Aneeta Sashless slider windows, red mahogany decking, recycled timber flooring, black Japan stained ply internal joinery, black steel eave detail
Winner – Best Renovation Category, 2007 Australian Timber Design Awards