"A home where the kids could drag the outside inside and always have sticky fingers... relaxed as a beach house, but flexible for many different uses and stages of family life" was the fantastic brief from the clients of this Hampton home. Courtyard Deck House by ZGA Studio achieves all of this and more...
The solution was a laid-back addition, separated from the existing home by a courtyard deck. The courtyard, with large glass sliding doors, ensures light and breezes can still access the existing home. An added benefit is the new part of the home can open up on both sides to create an effortless indoor-outdoor connection.
"The existing house turned its back on a large north-facing garden", explains architect Zoe Geyer. The new addition reorients the home towards the backyard, giving the family's three boys easy access to the outdoors.
The design creates two key zones in the house. The original house is a quiet zone and retreat, with bedrooms a study and lounge. The rear addition is much more informal, creating space for family life to unfold and spill into the backyard. "The family can inhabit the house in many different ways now and as children grow up", explains Zoe.
"The social areas are 'carved-out' of one fluid space," Zoe says, and "made distinct by grey hand-painted ceilings, step-downs and sliding doors."
Large steps and a sheltered patio connect the dining area to the garden, while the living area wraps around an existing camellia tree. "The edge of the house forms the fringe of the garden, to be inhabited by the family and gently infiltrated by the garden", explains Zoe.
"The clients approached the project with strong sustainability principles, which have been addressed through passive design and insulation." Zoning and insulation help to minimise energy costs, while air-conditioning was installed on in the kitchen and living space. On nights of extreme heat, the family plan to camp-out in this space - a fun approach to minimise our reliance on air conditioning. Ultimately though, access to natural light, good cross-ventilation potential and insulation will keep the house comfortable most of the time.