Situated in a quiet suburban street, this extension to a modest weatherboard house is a complex organism inside a compact shell. It subtly unveils its complexity both in the way it supports and enables family life and how it considers its relationship with the surrounding context.
The project reflects our ethos of building as background; it is thoughtfully designed to meet personal needs and beyond draws its identity from relating and contributing to something else - in this case a relaxed family friendly neighbourhood. Read more

Our design foremost focusses on what you can’t see, requiring several small moves to provide an optimised and personalised environment. This includes functionality for necessary daily activities, organising a layout with opportunities for both interaction and retreat, making and fitting out a space to be flexible, considering light, air, thermal comfort, and acoustics in addition to aesthetics.

Zoning and plan are simple: the original house accommodates home office, parents and facilities, the rear extension communal areas on the ground floor, and children’s spaces upstairs. There is a transition zone in-between: a spill over lounge connected to a winter garden, and a small lobby overlooking a small fishpond.

They are several interventions supporting our passive solar design. The pond, located southwest of the lounge, draws in cool air during summer. The winter garden extends the lounge and is a thermal buffer. A netted void over the dining space is a thermal chimney, pre-heats upstairs in winter and discharges hot air in summer. Internal windows balance natural light and facilitate cross ventilation, an external timber frame emerging from the main building provides shading and filters light. Elevated planters adjacent to windows allow convenient access to herbs and vegetables and reduce radiant heat in summer. They form part of the landscape design by Jo Henry, that based on our biodiversity brief, aims to maintain, and contribute to restoring local biodiversity.

This home is comfortable to use, it resonates approachability and warmth drawn from utilising natural elements and materials. All these make the home’s character, but beyond this, “Life Cycle” forms its identity from drawing in and giving back to the neighbourhood.

To invite engagement with the street, we opened the front and extended the verandah. The double-storey rear extension allows curated views of neighbouring trees and buildings, with privacy screens subtly integrated.

The new addition picks up a traditional building form that dissolves into an articulated timber structure, forming a transition between building and garden. It honours the existing architectural context while seamlessly integrating a contemporary aesthetic that both complements and enriches its surroundings.

This project is the result of an engaging and fruitful dialogue between the clients and our team, a collective effort that is more than just an add on to a house; it’s a thoughtful and very personal articulation of domestic spaces that are functional, comfortable, and warm. It’s a reflection of our commitment to creating places that are not only efficient and economical but also nurturing and community oriented, re-defining the essence of suburban living.