Architects: Clare Cousins
Photography: Shannon McGrath
Location: Armadale, Victoria, Australia
The addition to this Edwardian house demonstrates Clare Cousins’ ability to create clear, site-specific solutions through its elegantly resolved planning and strong palette of raw materials.
Charged with designing a home that would embrace the family’s passion for cooking and entertaining, while ably accommodating its demands for privacy and functionality – all within a tight 300sq.m corner site – Cousins added a second storey for the children’s bedroom, bathroom and playroom and dedicated the ground level to versatile living.
The kitchen, a pivotal aspect of the solution, is set off to the side of the main living area, in a wing that runs along the deck and includes a pantry and laundry. Above the kitchen bench, a concertina window opens completely to create an indoor-outdoor room protected by a large first-floor overhang.
Large sliding glass doors to the living area continue the idea, receding completely into an off-form concrete volume, which also contains a fireplace.
These gestures provide a seamless connection with the garden, while maintaining privacy from the street.
A small galley study opposite the kitchen is sufficiently separated from the living spaces so as to create an effective working environment, yet proximate enough should connection be required.
Timber and concrete prevail as the dominant finishes, their tactility imbuing the addition with a polished rawness. Readily available concrete roof tiles clad the first floor to continue the thematic, and reference the existing tiled roof of the period front of the home.