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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

THE BIG LITTLE HOUSE in Fitzroy North, Victoria Australia by Nic Owen Architects

 
August 11th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Nic Owen Architects

A renovation and extension to the rear of a heritage Victorian terrace in inner City Melbourne. This project is for a young family with 2 children who wished to stay in their current house and renovate to suit their requirements. The 2 story renovation and extension includes 4 bedrooms, study and 2 bathrooms on a very small site of 140m2 whilst respecting the amenities of neighbouring buildings and historic concerns.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

  • Architects: Nic Owen Architects
  • Project: THE BIG LITTLE HOUSE
  • Location: Fitzroy North, Victoria Australia
  • Photography: Christine Francis
  • CLIENT: Daniel & Laura Hutchins
  • BUILDER: Whale Builders
  • Project type: Dwelling
  • Construction time: Nine months
  • Design time: Nine months
  • Date of completion: November 2013
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: John Horan & Associates
  • BUILDER SURVEYOR: Reddo

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

COMPACT CAN FEEL GENEROUS
With clever design small spaces can feel larger than they actually are. Filled with natural light, vaulted ceilings and the abundance of skylights this 5 metre wide site borrows views and connects to the outside creating a feeling of space. Audience: home owners, home builders, architects & designers.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

KEY FEATURES

■ Sympathetic response to neighbourhood character
■ Integrity of historic Victorian terrace and details retained
■ Historic streetscape retained
■ protect south neighbours northern sunlight aspect
■ Maximisation of daylight and cross ventilation
■ Rigorous passive solar design
■ Strong connection with outdoors
■ Extensive use of natural finishes & recycled materials
■ Low maintenance finishes

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

■ The client was after more space, a larger living area, updated facilities and a better connection to their back yard from their small existing Victorian terrace. They loved the area and have 2 young children and were outgrowing their current dwelling.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ With such a small site (5m x 26m) the only way to achieve their requirements was to extend the ground and 1st floors. This was problematic due to any new works would cast shadows over the south neighbours north facing living room windows.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ Careful sunlight / shadow studies were undertaken to define the acceptable external envelope of the new works. The ground floor southern wall was pitched at a low height and the 1st floor was setback from the south boundary and kept central along the length of the property.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ Vaulted ceilings throughout the ground and 1st floor increased the feeling of space whilst having minimal impact on neighbouring buildings. This increased vertical height gave the opportunity of high windows to capture extended views of neighbouring trees.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ In line with strict heritage guidelines all new works are concealed from the street front and hidden behind the existing roof.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ The client and architect are delighted with the final outcome. A project which despite historical restrictions, solar limitations and the small site a family house was created which addresses all key concerns, creating the ‘big little’ house.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

ARCHITECTS STATEMENT

■ My aim for this project was to create a modern extension which addresses the client’s requirements – challenges the idea of typical space requirements and create an extension which does not adversely affect the ammenities of neighbouring buildings. The works also had to address the historic fabric of the existing built forms including the rear laneway.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ We have under-take a number of similar projects where more space was required from an existing small inner-city period terrace. The challenge with this project due to the orientation of the house was to ensure the project did not compromise neighbour’s access to sunlight.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

■ The project was a great opportunity to explore the ideas of creating stimulating workable spaces in a very tight envelope. I enjoyed challenging the perception of a typical family house and was inspired by the Japanese architectural idea of ‘borrowed landscapes and views’ to enhance the feeling of space.

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Christine Francis

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

Image Courtesy © Nic Owen Architects

ARCHITECT PROFILE

Nic Owen Architects are a young design focused architectural team located in the heart of Carlton, Victoria. The team are committed to creating architecture that is a joy to inhabit through the treatment of space, form, materials and light. The practice specialises in residential architecture, which responds to each individual site and environment, creating unique and elegant forms that contribute to the wider community and make a difference to our visual landscape.

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Category: House

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