Additions and alterations blend new and old, public and private
THE owners of this awards short-listed Hobart property have a history with the home dating back decades. They are the fourth generation of their family to live here.
Dubbed “French Street Additions” by the team at Matt Williams Architects, the owners were looking to transform a historic cottage into a home that was custom-made for a modern lifestyle.
This included taking an extension or two off of the back of the house.
Today, the home features light-filled contemporary living zones, cosy, comfortable, private bedrooms and beautiful curves, which set the new part of the home apart from the original.
The project’s lead designer Natasha Lowry said there was a contrasting language in the older and new part of the house. “The addition is a curvy, flowing entity compared to the ‘very much of its era’, angular form of the original cottage,” she said.
Principal Matt Williams said the curves were not just beautiful, they also serve a purpose.
“Tasha found a way with the curves that add to the feel and experience of walking through the house while also making it a smooth transition from old to new,” he said.
When the guys from In2Constructions first saw all of the curves in the design, Matt said they were excited: “They love it, the plasterer especially was excited,” he said.
“I had to set it out like a boat plan to achieve those complex curves.”
From the street the original home’s exterior is a mix of sandstone and white brick while the extension is a mix of Colorbond cladding in places where people are not interacting with it and where they are — like the entrance — spotted gum was used which adds a special warmth.
Inside, there is polished concrete floors in the new form, with hydronic heating in-slab, that contrast with the original timber floorboards in the cottage.
Just around a corner from the front door, timber screens are used to define the lounge space while also allowing light through.
Matt said it was important to make the lounge a “still space”.
“You only enter if you will be sitting down, it is not a thoroughfare,” he said.
“The lounge has the feel of being sunken even though the extension steps up the site, with the kitchen and dining space sitting above it.
“As a young family’s home, it was important to have a children’s play area next to the kitchen with a big sunny window and lots of space.”
Of all of the impressive features of this home, two stand out: the shower pod and the picture window in the lounge.
This huge 3.5m by 3.5m window looks across the suburb to the river.
The shower pod features a massive skylight, more curves and striking blue tiles.
Matt said while the rest of the house is white, timber a few light pastels, the bathroom is an intense blue space.
He said they have sketched a few like in the past but not built one.
“One of the great things about this project is the owners are children of past clients,” he said. “They came to us having an established confidence in what we do.
“In that way, there was a lot of acceptance of design ideas. Maybe where others might be unsure they already had trust and a willingness to give it a go.”
French Street Additions is short-listed in the Residential Alterations or Additions category of the Tasmanian Architecture Awards. The awards will be presented by the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects on July 6.
The public can vote for the People’s Choice Award online at wp.architecture.com.au/tasawards