This was a particularly challenging site, flood affected with a storm water easement which cannot be built upon, running diagonally through the centre of the site. Due to these constraints the existing house is unusually set to the rear in contrast to the established building setbacks of surrounding dwellings. The flood affected zone dictates that any additions must have internal floors well above the 1 in 100-year flood levels to enable a free-flowing path for flood waters.

The site has a favorable north easterly aspect, but an existing shed and solid verandah dominated and minimised the private outdoor area and rear garden. In addition, the siting and minimal rear garden space made it clear that any additions should be established toward the front of the site rather than the more traditional additions at the rear. A covered alfresco across the width of the newly created living areas was established providing an additional outdoor room and flexible transition space between the inside and rear garden. An operable louvred roof over this area facilitates the regulation of solar access under summer and winter conditions. Bedrooms and service rooms were added forward of the living area, their siting dictated by the stormwater easement. The new central corridor with protruding roof structure acts equally as the major circulation spine (connecting internal spaces), as a scoop for natural light (to usually dark internal spaces) and as an escape for warm air (enabling the building to breathe out) during summer conditions.

The design overcomes formidable site constraints resulting in the integration of the existing dwelling with a series of contemporary boxes “plugged” into the structure. The outcome provides a 4 bedroom home that responds to climatic conditions and adds greatly to internal and external amenity, while being achieved under a restricted budget.

Architect: Robert Parisi Architecture + Design

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