Even a compact addition can have a dramatic impact on the functionality and liveability of a home - providing it is well designed. At just 36 square metres this thoughtful addition creates space for cooking, eating, writing, sitting and more...
Take an average Edwardian home in Melbourne's Northcote and you'll typically have a narrow site with a couple of bedrooms at the front, a living area in the middle and a services lean-to tacked on the back. This arrangement means the home is permanently severed from the back yard and the living space ends up feeling dark and cramped because it's bookended by rooms.
This was certainly the case at Herbert Street House. Architect Hewson set out to change all that by knocking down the pokey lean-to and replacing it with a new open-plan eating/sitting/writing/cooking space plus laundry. The new multi-functional space has a beautiful, seamless connection to the back yard and feels light and airy thanks to some well-places windows and doors.
The new kitchen space is open, functional and friendly. With views to the backyard, a small south-facing courtyard and the lounge area it feels connected to the rest of the house and the outdoors.
A new bathroom was also designed to fit in the corner of the existing lounge area. To ensure the room-locked bathroom didn't feel dark and gloomy, Architect Hewson designed polycarbonate clerestory windows for the room which borrow diffused light from the living area. This has an added benefit of glowing when the bathroom light is on, creating the opportunity for additional atmospheric lighting for the lounge area.
Built from violet glazed bricks, the colourful addition also hints at the area's Greek/Macedonian cultural history. A section of the roof line 'pops' up to let North light into the new living spaces, while louvre windows help to vent stale air in warmer months.
Herbert Street House shows us how a well-considered addition can transform a home from dark and dingy to light and functional. Without eating into the backyard and minimising the impact on existing spaces, Architect Hewson have transformed this Edwardian into a home built for 21st Century living, while also staying in touch with the history of both the home and the area.