What was once a pretty standard fibro shack in the popular Victorian beach-side town Torquay has been transformed thanks to a clever renovation which utilised half of the existing roof structure to create a new raked roof and wrapped the fibro in a new skin of timber cladding. The result is a warm and relaxed riverside retreat...
Fibro (fibre cement) shacks used to dot the Australian coast, typically built as low cost holiday retreats. Unfortunately most of these homes were built with asbestos-filled fibre-cement which now needs to be safely removed or treated carefully to ensure it doesn't pose a health risk. So when Lachlan Shepherd Architects designed an alteration and addition for this fibro shack they decided to remove the asbestos sheets and reuse the bones of the original shack, but wrap it in a new skin of timber and masonry.
By reusing half of the existing roof structure and creating a new raked roof, Lachlan was able to incorporate new highlight glazing and improve ventilation in the home.
A new north-facing deck opens off the kitchen and dining area to create seamless indoor/outdoor living. Timber is used both indoors and out to enhance the sense that the deck is an extension of the interior. Bifold doors open to dissolve the walls and create a servery widow for the kitchen, perfect for entertaining.
Timber is used extensively both inside and out. Custom timber joinery inside creates practical storage, while the timber-lined roof, floors, doors, display boxes bring rich warmth and texture to the home. Some of the roof structure was even recycled to create these timber elements. Cavity masonry walls are exposed internally to bring thermal mass into the home, helping to moderate the indoor temperature and adding more texture. The blonde timbers and sand-coloured masonry keep the overall feeling light, breezy and beachy.
By carefully reusing the bones of this fibro shack and recladding it in rich timber, Lachlan Shepherd Architects have created a rich, yet casual home. Connection to the outdoors and bringing extra light and ventilation into the home creates a more joyous and liveable space.