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Narrabundah House

The 2014 ACT Architecture Awards Jury awarded a Commendation to this transformational renovation of a modest 1950s monocrete house.

Character and reinvention

A clear distinction between old and new was one of the key elements of the client’s brief – specifically, the ability to distinguish immediately between the original structure and the modest additions.

The new elements are clearly legible as black insertions against the white façade of the existing monocrete, which was insulated with polystyrene and rendered to greatly improve its energy performance.

With new floorspace restricted to a small increase in the living room and the addition of an ensuite, the overall footprint remains modest. However, the rearrangement of space – relocating the laundry, opening living areas and enlarging the kitchen – has resulted in a vastly improved floorplan. From the street, the garage and front doors appear ‘hidden’ in a screen of fine galvanized steel mesh, which seems opaque from the outside but appears transparent from within.

A great collaboration with a client committed to retaining the original character of the home while improving its energy efficiency, the project was featured in The Sunday Canberra Times Relax magazine on 23 March 2014

Key features

  • 590m2 relatively flat site with orientation of north to the back
  • House floor area increased from 115m2 to 172m2
  • Extension: entry, laundry, ensuite, robe and family room
  • New carport/storage as well as separate workshop shed
  • Customised joinery throughout existing house and extension
  • Floor finishes include; concrete, timber, tiles and carpet
  • Tailored to the site and designed to our client’s brief and budget