renovations and additions to residence
completed 2010

one of the most interesting things about working in the residential arena is… the client
clients come in all shapes and sizes
clients come with all sorts of attitudes, agendas, insecurities, wants, needs, desires, viewpoints, opinions, capabilities, misunderstandings, misgivings, motives, dreams and dramas
all clients have a reason for approaching their architect and those reasons vary significantly
all clients have a budget, other than that they have nothing in common
every client’s approach to the process is pivotal to the success of the job

though not absolutely necessary it is best to like your clients
though not absolutely necessary it is best to like your architect

some clients like to be lorded over by am architect / designer with grand ideas and expensive shoes
some architects like to be directed by their clients in all manner of things
go figure…?

sally and john owned a substantial federation building in carlton, victoria, australia
they also owned a large coffee machine and three children, that makes 4 kids in total
they also lived in singapore for the duration of the build… subsequently making them perfect clients

the original building had a 1980’s addition which featured a fully glazed pyramid shaped ‘modern’ interpretation of a bay window, as well as a mock colonial kitchen, featuring three different types of terracotta floor tiles all at a slightly different level to each other
architecturally speaking, a lot of good things happened in the 1980’s… this addition was not one of them

the early part of the design process as is usual, entailed an exploration of what could be achieved, at what building cost
our schematic designs expanded and contracted and the breadth of works to be undertaken varied, as cellars, swimming pools, additional bathrooms and a 20,000L water tank drifted in and out of the equation

the brief finally settled upon:
- upgrading of the existing main bedroom and ensuite and main bathroom all within the original house
- demolition of the 1980’s addition, to be replaced with living / dining / kitchen and laundry at ground floor level, and two children’s bedrooms, powder room, small rumpus room and deck to the upstairs
- restoration works to the existing façade and remedial works to the existing garage, a 20,000L underground water tank and some preliminary hard landscaping immediately proximate to the living areas
- further landwork was undertaken by someone else, which is another way of saying we had little to do with it, other than try and steer it in the right direction

our main constraints were as is usual heritage and ancillary planning requirements
due to the nature of neighbouring properties, we needed to both carefully consider overlooking and the subsequent height of our second storey addition to the resulting effects of overshadowing

our design imperatives were to:
- create a gentle but expressive transition between the old and new works
- reinterpret the sense of detailing evident in the original building and to imprint them into our work
- fully explore and embrace the different spatial volumes resulting from low and high ceiling of the additional works
- create and provide storage, with more storage, did l say storage and then provide a little bit more…
- create a fun filled family living space, protective and embracing at its core

john, sally, their offspring and the coffee machine mr giotto all returned from singapore and live happily ever-after, or at least we hope so in their reworked abode
there are as always one or two things that could have been done better, had we had more freedom in terms of the budget
nonetheless they owe tim a coffee… he’s happy to collect

project design team:
tim o’sullivan architect
sioux clark interior designer
shayne lacy
cassie southon

TCM building group

structural engineer

building surveyor

emma cross

publication images
houses magazine