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Earle Street House

For this modest 1950s red-brick, inner-North home, our brief was to retain as much of its character as possible, while improving thermal performance and liveability.

A quiet transformation

From the street, the two modest insertions in black Shadowclad, which add just 16 square metres to the home’s original footprint, are barely noticeable. However, every square centimetre they provide has been maximised in this thorough re-working of the original floor plan.

We re-arranged the formerly cramped and isolated living spaces, creating an open plan kitchen and dining area with an adjacent, sunken lounge, able to be closed off when required with full-height sliding panels.

Large sliding double-glazed doors lead on to decks that wrap around the home’s northern and eastern façades, providing a seamless link between the indoor and outdoor spaces. A ‘pop-out’ insertion for the stovetop saves valuable floorspace in the galley kitchen. And smart storage helps the house function well above the expectations of its relatively small footprint.

The house delivers year-round comfort. Hydronic heating in the lounge, laundry and bathroom slabs, and wall-mounted radiators in the bedrooms provide winter warmth, supplemented with generous natural light. Ceiling fans, and windows positioned for optimum cross-ventilation, circulate the air in summer.

Key features

  • 821m2 sloping site with orientation of north to the back
  • House floor area increased from 131m2 to 147m2
  • Renovation: Living areas, kitchen and bathroom/laundry reconfigured while improving overall energy efficiency
  • Extension: 16m2 added to existing footprint to increase size of the living room and master bedroom.
  • Customised joinery throughout existing house and extension, and polished concrete kitchen bench
  • Large internal sliding and bi-fold doors allow separation of living areas
  • New timber deck to north-eastern side of the house (36m2)
  • Tailored to the site and designed to our client’s brief and budget


Sustainable elements

  • As much insulation as possible
  • Recycled timber decking (Australian hardwood)
  • New internal floor space constructed from concrete to provide some thermal mass and insulated to reduce heat loss
  • Hydronic heating
  • Ceiling fans
  • Efficient lighting
  • Low VOC paints