Project: Elsternwick Two-Storey Addition
Location: Elsternwick, Vic, Australia
Completion date 2019
Photo Credits: John Madden photography
Text by Modscape
Utilising modern construction techniques, this Elsternwick two-storey addition to the rear of a mid-century home is sympathetic to its origins, but unashamedly modern, fulfilling the needs for a growing family.
The owners loved their mid-century home, but in its poor state – cluttered layout, leaky windows, rotting frames and lack of storage – the house simply wasn’t working. The original street-facing facades were restored and surrounding mature trees preserved. A sensitive renovation and new modular extension made up of five small modules breathes new life into the home, reinvigorating the original qualities while being sympathetic to the era and style.
The new floor plan retains the essence of the original, with a modern open-plan kitchen/living/dining space that maximises on the northerly aspect. The addition of a new kids’ zone upstairs with three bedrooms, family bathroom and rumpus room allows for thoughtful modifications to be made to the existing home to create a generous master suite, complete with enviable walk-in robe and dressing room.
At the heart of the addition is a new kitchen, designed as the centre of activity. One of the gripes about the original home was the lack of kitchen storage. The inclusion of a butler’s pantry – complete with second sink, dishwasher, fridge and plenty of open shelving – helps to solve this issue. Slyly integrated into the wall of joinery, the pantry is tucked discreetly away from the main living area.
Highlight windows above the kitchen joinery not only increase natural light and aid ventilation but assist in the illusion that the floor above is floating. The same floor and ceiling finish continue from inside to out, drawing the eye and effortlessly connecting home and garden.
The restrained yet rich and textured material palette takes cues from mid-century modern trends with terracotta tiles, exposed-brick walls, timber ceilings and a spiral staircase. The result is a comfortable and appealing family home that respects, celebrates and expands upon its original qualities, while providing every amenity for modern family living and ensuring it will be around for many more decades to come.