Alfred House is the addition and reconfiguration of an existing two storey, two bedroom terrace, with a tired lean-to that had little relationship with the exterior space. The client wanted Austin Maynard Architects to replicate one of their previous projects, Vader House, as they liked the idea of a centralised courtyard...
But Austin Maynard managed to push the concept further due to the property’s connection with the laneway.
The lean-to was removed and the space redesigned to include an internal garden, kitchen/laundry, living/dining room, bathroom, (mezzanine) office and store room/garage, for the client’s prized motorbike.
Rather than placing the addition directly on the rear of the house, the architects moved it back to the boundary laneway. In doing so they essentially turned the dodgy little light-well that you find in most terrace houses into an entire garden. With a backyard you have to chose to go outside, whereas here you don’t have to make that decision, the walls easily fold away to activate the space in a more natural way.
Alfred was a real fine tuning exercise, unrelenting on every detail whilst working to a tight and constrained budget. The way the doors in the kitchen come together without the use of a central column, the deceptive mirror splashback, use of perforated steel to filter light, the way the back glass window opens up completely without a fixed panel - it all required the greatest of effort but appears effortless.
Sustainability is at the core of Alfred House. Austin Maynard Architects introduced North-facing glass and perforated metal awning to enable passive solar gain. All windows are double glazed with thermal separated frames. White roofs drastically reduce urban heat sink and heat transfer internally. High performance insulation is everywhere.