King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House

Architects: Austin Maynard Architects
Project: King Bill House
Collaborators: Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Kathryne Houchin, Ray Dinh
Location: Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
Year 2018
Photographs: Courtesy of Austin Maynard Architects

IN A NUTSHELL
Located in the vibrant back streets of Fitzroy, Melbourne, King Bill house is the renovation and extension of a double story terrace house and neighbouring garden. The King Bill house (one of 5 terraces built circa 1850) and its eastern garden were initially separate lots that were recently consolidated onto a single title. Recognising the importance and heritage significance of the area, as well as the rich eclectic nature of the location, the terrace facade remains untouched. A glazed corridor now runs along the eastern outer wall of the original terrace, linking the original house with the stable (garage and parents retreat) and the new pavilion, which houses kitchen, living and dining.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 1

WHO MADE WILLIAM KING?
A family of four (asked Austin Maynard Architects to design them their “forever house”. They asked for a renovation to their two story terrace home, incorporating the empty garden site to the east and re-using the old stable building at the rear. Long time Fitzroy locals, the clients chose not to capitalise on their block by exploiting the vacant site. They wanted more living space but they had no intention of maximising the economic yields by creating a huge home. Instead they sought to give something back to the suburb they love through a rich and generous garden.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 2

A COLLAGE OF AN ECLECTIC SUBURB
For two centuries Fitzroy has been a highly diverse suburb of Melbourne. Throughout Fitzroy we see examples of this. Brick terrace homes, weather board cottages, post war stud-veneer homes and 1960s flats sit comfortably next to corrugated sheds, old factories and repurposed warehouses, randomly broken by pocket parks and dense gardens. This diversity surrounds one of the finest neo-classical buildings in Australia, The Fitzroy Town Hall, one block form King Bill. Fitzroy’s history of boom and bust is written in its buildings, which has created a diversity and eclecticism rarely seen nor maintained with such affection. Here there is memory but also a dedication and willingness to be playful. Fitzroy is not nostalgic about its heritage, it engages with it. If you want to bring an old building back to life you do something vibrant so it doesn’t become a museum piece. King William Street is a wonderful example of Fitzroy’s eclecticism. King William Street has bursts of consistency broken by pocket parks and greenery. King Bill House is a love letter to Fitzroy. King Bill house is a collage of its built history, its textures, its forms, its order and its chaos.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 3

A HOUSE OF CONTRASTS
At King Bill Austin Maynard Architects set out to completely re-think the terrace house and the principles that created them. Typically you walk through the front door of a terrace, past two bedrooms to the kitchen/living and small rear yard, which is usually overshadowed by the house itself. Austin Maynard Architects set aside these principles and looked at the house as empty spaces that needed new purpose. Holes have been punched through the boundary wall on the east and the entrance has been moved to the side to become a light filled corridor linking the old house with the stable and pavilion. With the entry moved, the original terrace entry porch is now a garden that the entry corridor is now a bathroom, which brings delight to the owners as they watch visitors scratch their head while they try to figure out how to find their way inside.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 4

Surrounded by established garden, the glass pavilion sits in stark contrast to the dark masonry walls of the robust two story terraces either side. As with many Austin Maynard Architects projects the spaces created vary greatly in nature, thereby enabling the users to occupy spaces that best suit their mood, at any specific time. The introvert who wants to hide away and read a book in a dark space, verses someone who wants to slide away the walls and be in amongst the garden. Retaining the existing trees was fundamental to creating a variety of spaces. The house and the structure was meticulously designed to ensure that the existing trees remained intact throughout construction.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 5

A PLAY SPACE FOR GROWN UPS
The brick and metal rear stable was in general disrepair. The original brick walls, internal fireplaces and timber beams were retained. The new zincalume walls provides contemporary memory of the former life of the stable, which now houses a car stacker and a study, with the parent’s bedroom and bathroom above. A large curved sliding wall separates the parent’s bathroom from an open net over the study below. The parents can now step out of the bath, slide the wall away and then air dry themselves on the net in front of the big sunny north facing window.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 6

“MORE CURVES PLEASE”
Good architecture requires a great client. King Bill’s owners are a dynamic and enthusiastic family. While the strategies have not changed greatly since the first sketches, the addition of curves was something that the owners were very keen to see. The original aesthetic was rectilinear, similar to THAT House. The owners wanted to see something more like MASH House. Inspired by the owners, Austin Maynard Architects added curved corrugated metal, curved internal walls and an inset curved concrete slab.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 7

CORRUGATED STEEL
The distinguishing and unifying feature of King Bill is the corrugated colorbond steel metal cladding. Surfmist Custom Orb is used to define each of the addictions – the stable building, the glass pavilion, and the bedroom pop out. The use of a singular material highlights the additions, particularly in the old stable building where the clean white steel contrasts with the original old brick. The advantage of the profile is that it can be rolled to create sweeping curves and sun shading eyelids. The versatility of using the linear ribs vertically or horizontal – allows the material to be used practically in different applications, to shade and guide rain water (the stable and pop out), or to create the curve of a building (the pavilion.)

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 8

SAVE THE TREES
Austin Maynard Architects were determined to maintain and encourage a significant indigenous garden, to enrich the block, to contribute greenery to the street and to create another pocket park in Fitzroy. The eastern garden, which was obscured behind a tin fence, was already long established with thriving Ornamental Pear and Silver Birch trees. Instead of clearing the site (the easy option), great care, consideration and even greater lengths were taken to save the trees. This was a project in itself.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 9

The concrete slab of the living/kitchen/dining pavilion cantilevers beyond its footings so as not to encroach on the root zones of the trees. The foundations for the Y-shaped steel framing are thin piers designed to pierce the ground in the smallest way possible to avoid causing root damage. The Y’s themselves were meticulously arranged to avoid trunks and branches, with the screening allows generous space for natural growth.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 10

SUSTAINABILITY
Like all of Austin Maynard Architects buildings, sustainability is at the core of King Bill. The large garden increases the permeability of the site and also radically reduces heat sink in the area. Passive solar principals are maximised by the design. The pavilion is set back to create a sunny northern garden and is a deliberately low structure allowing sunlight into the garden to the south of it and passive solar gain into the re-imagined ‘shed’ on the southern boundary. The northern facade of the shed has been rebuilt to create a smaller footprint. The new facade is clad in Surfmist Colorbond which significantly reflects heat. The wall is double stud and thermal broken with high performance insulation throughout.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 16

All new work aims to maximise available daylight and optimise passive solar gain in winter, while ensuring that summer sun does not hit the glass. All windows are double-glazed. There is no glazing on western facades and limited glass on the eastern facades. With active management of shade and passive ventilation, demands on mechanical heating and cooling are drastically reduced. A large water tank has been buried within the rear yard. All roof water is captured and reused to flush toilets and water the garden. Where possible Austin Maynard Architects have sourced local trades, materials and fittings. Solar panels with micro-inverters cover the old roof.

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 11

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 12

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 13

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 14

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 15

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 17

King Bill House: Renovation and Extension of a Double Story Terrace House 18

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

London Flat Refurbished to Provide an Open Plan Kitchen and an Additional Bedroom

This listed crescent in Barnsbury, Islington, London was built in 1860. The project reconfigures a first floor flat within a building that was converted from a house in the 1970’s. This London flat was altered to provide an open plan kitchen in the living room, allowing the creation of an additional bedroom.

Dover House by Shaun Lockyer Architects

Dover house is a project that involves the fusion of a traditional Queenslander and a concrete garden room. The idea incorporates an extruded section of the pitched roof that forms a portal to the back yard, the centre of gravity for family life.

Black Ridge House / Neil Dusheiko Architects

The Black Ridge house is an extension to an existing 3-bedroom Victorian terraced house forming part of the Warner Estate in Walthamstow. The project creates a light filled spacious extension with an open plan kitchen, dining, living area at ground floor.

Central London Apartment by Rene Dekker Design

This Central London Apartment was completed in 2015 by René Dekker Design. This 4,000 square foot apartment was a prestigious two year project for the...

Matakana Barn by Strachan Group Architects

The clients required a functional, single level home, engaged with the surrounding landscape. Approach to design was informed by the local vernacular architecture of rural sheds and barns ...

Theatrical Apartment – Industrial London Warehouse Conversion

Apalondon have collaborated with Dalia Ibelhauptaite (a director of opera and theatre) and Dexter Fletcher (a director of film and theatre) on the design...