Weatherboard House Extension Uses Material to Create Form

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
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Australian firm FMD Architects has designed a residential extension in a Melbourne house using the home’s existing weatherboard to create a dynamic new house in which form and material are inseparable elements.

The Weatherboard house is the result of FMD’s interest in creating rich and inventive design, up-cycling and finding new applications for traditional construction materials.

The house is located in Fairfield suburb of Melbourne, six kilometres northeast of the CBD. It is situated on a medium-sized block in a quiet neighbourhood, where renovated two-storey weatherboard dwellings can been seen all along the street.

weatherboard house

The new additions extend the use of weatherboards as the principal cladding material.

While the budget for the project was modest, the brief was ambitious. The client wanted to renovate and extend the existing house to accommodate four to five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a larger kitchen and expanded living areas to suit the family’s needs and potential future growth.

Retaining the existing building was essential for budgetary reasons and to minimise the visual impact of the changes. The new additions extend the use of weatherboards as the principal cladding material, and the extension stretches from the front to the backyard of the existing building.

weatherboard house

The material capacity is stretched to the limit as the weatherboards weave themselves over windows and pivoting canopies.

“The forms and material are inseparable as they sculpt themselves to follow the path of light and shade over the building. Louvered canopies pivot and envelope the façade to offer a dynamic landscape of shadows both internally and externally,” the architects said.

“The use of the weatherboards allows an architectural response which both defers to the heritage of the building while offering contemporary expression of its current occupants.”

weatherboard house

he weatherboards are overlapped and look compressed at the upper sides of the building.

The floor plan currently allows the family to live downstairs at the present time, but if the family grows, or when the children get older, the new first floor extension – which is now used as a guest house and includes two additional bedrooms, a bathroom and flexible living spaces – will help to meet the new needs.

Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan.

“The resulting renovation offers a dynamic array of spaces for the family to suit their varying needs, while the use of the weatherboards allows an architectural response which both defers to the heritage of the building while offering contemporary expression of its current occupants,” the architects said.

East and West Elevation

East and West Elevation.

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