From first glance it is there, in the same way that it has always been. That familiar bungalow on the tree lined street with its heritage features, history and subtle reminders that life wasn’t always as it is today.
Sometimes though, when something is so embedded in place, it’s not until you look a little harder you realise that, behind the scenes, there is much more. Over 100 years later those familiar foundations will serve a new purpose with a new family and a new way of living.
A ‘history’ is a chronicle of events and, from the very start of this project, the brief was clear – this was all about adding new events to the chronicle whilst celebrating and restoring the features that make this one of the most iconic homes in Manly.
Whilst the front of the house retained many of its original elements, the rear featured 1980s additions that were a substandard imitation of the original beauty. They did not flow in a functional fashion or in a way that was favourable to the family who love to spend their time surrounded by friends and entertaining big groups. The family of 5, including 3 young boys, also wanted to combine their desire for open plan living areas with private bedrooms, rumpus and study upstairs that could be kept separate from the hustle and bustle beneath.
Recently completed, this property is now a showcase that takes the intricate details of 1900s federation living and unites this with an expansive, double-story extension. Combining modern simplicity with passive design principles, the design is mindful of both the family’s style of living and the impact on the environment.
Beyond the front door, the original Kauri timber flooring retains the story of original house all the way to the bottom of the new staircase which slices through the centre of the property. Here there is a threshold that paves the way into the new with contemporary polished concrete floor and stairs.
Natural light pours in through deliberately placed windows in the stairwell and a skylight that shows glimpses of the original brick chimney on the outside.
Concrete steps drop down into the new living room providing extra height to the space and level access to the external terrace and garden to make the indoor/outdoor living transition completely seamless. The rear glazing to the living room and kitchen can be slid all the way linking the two spaces as one and the timber batten walls continue straight through to enhance this feeling. Coupled with this, the design provides a high level glazing strip that supplies natural light deep into the room.
Heritage sensitivity continues to the core of this design with a material palette of timber, dark grey steel and concrete purposefully selected to work with original elements without imitating them.
Outside, polished concrete benches create daybeds and informal seating to facilitate casual interactions between family members or guests and hosts at barbeques or gatherings. The external terrace space is given a sense of enclosure and privacy from neighbours with timber batten screening walls at either end. This allows attention to focus on the sunny rear garden.
Black joinery cupboards and concrete worktops run from the BBQ to the kitchen with a slide up ‘server counter’ style window. A large kitchen island with a Caesarstone concrete folds down over a ‘waterfall’ worktop edge, referencing the polished concrete steps into the room.
A gas fireplace and an artwork which becomes a TV (The Frame TV) are the joint focus of the living room, with concrete plinth running around the two walls to create a step out to the courtyard and extra informal seating for gatherings.
The garage at end of the garden has been extended to create surfboard/kayak storage as well as a shower and drying room to make those family evening beach trips all the more convenient after a day at work and school.
Director – Jo Gillies
Project Architect – Russell Rice
Photography – Tom Ferguson Photography