This part of Northcote is an important heritage area, therefore the renovation of this home needed to fit into the neighbourhood character. That didn't stop Finnis Architects with Damon Hills flexing their creative muscle out the back where the weatherboards of the original bungalow evaporate into a glass garden pavilion for living.
"Californian Bungalows aren’t famously considered remarkable individually, the home plays a greater role as a collective in the consistent design of the area. The modesty of the street front restoration was integral to the overall success of the home in maintaining its role in the historical and aesthetic significance of Northcote." - Finnis Architects with Damon Hills
Unfortunately, the original home wasn't in a good way, meaning much of the interior couldn't be retained or restored. Instead, the architect designed modern interpretations of the original to honour the character of the original home, while updating it for modern living. Rotting floorboards and skirting boards were replaced with new boards, while an old fireplace hidden behind old joinery was replaced with a new craftsman-style fireplace.
From the original home's hallway, you get a glimpse of what waits beyond the threshold, encouraging you to explore deeper into the home. You can tell you're entering a new space as you step up three steps into the modern extension. The floor material changes from floorboards to polished concrete and you're suddenly bathed in natural light and nestled in the garden.
The new garden pavilion is surrounded by the plants and trees, its floor to ceiling glass dissolving the boundary between inside and out. Clerestory windows grab sunlight at various times of the day and capture views to the sky.
The addition intentionally contrasts with the original home: dark versus light, timber versus concrete and glass, pitched roof versus flat. None of this is evident from the street, retaining the integrity of the heritage streetscape.
Californian Bungalows aren't renowned for being light-filled homes, but thanks to The Light Box, the main living areas of this home cleverly embrace the sun and garden all without letting on anything from the street - 'nothing to see here'!