Nestled in a quiet leafy street, the East Brighton House began life as a single storey bungalow from an earlier subdivision.  To meet the client’s growing space requirements, the extension adds a second storey parent’s retreat, including master bedroom, ensuite, study, and second living space.

The original bungalow built in the late 1980’s was well located to take advantage of a north facing courtyard, allowing excellent solar orientation.  Continuing this theme, the extension uses passive solar design techniques to recapture and repel the sun’s light during the changing seasons.

In deference to the streetscape, the renovated house uses natural materials in muted tones.  The combination of galvanised steel and compressed fibre cement panelling with natural stained timber combines to form simple and beautiful facades that hint at the dwellings environmental sensitivity.

A comprehensive Planning process delivered a positive result and included a setback on the eastern boundary, maximising the minimal first floor space available.  Overhangs to the north for both ground and first floors and appropriate sunshade structures allowed good passive solar control.

Constructed on a relatively constrained site, the generous entry area and custom straight run timber stairs in a two-storey volume give the first impression of a spaciousness.  The living spaces front onto a north-facing rear yard, allowing the blending of indoor activities with the outside while allowing excellent solar access and control.

Continuing the theme of the original dwelling, the new extension features a suspended concrete slab supported by reinforced blockwork walls, and wrapped in a well-insulated lightweight external skin.  The house is orientated to take advantage of the excellent solar access, and functions very well to minimise running costs.  The new guest wing consists of two additional bedrooms, associated bathroom facilities, and a bushfire refuge.

Featuring a range of modern materials, the house boasts best practice bushfire protection and thermal efficiency through the use of correct orientation and solar passive design.

The design features a similar construction technique and materials palette to the original house; galvanised steel, compressed fibre cement sheet, copper, and hardwood, all supported by a lightweight insulated frame over a suspended concrete slab.  Simple shapes, enclosed masonry subfloor, and leaf-less gutters are design features that increase the resistance of this rural dwelling to fire and ember attack, ensuring enjoyment for many years to come.