The Sydney suburb of Haberfield was laid out to the principles of garden suburb design early in the twentieth century and is recognized as one of Australia’s best repositories of Federation era houses. In the post-war period many of the houses were transformed before the suburb was declared a Conservation Zone. Very few houses have escaped the ubiquitous back yard extension that compromises the original Federation era design. With this project, the existing house had similarly suffered a series of poor quality alterations.
The aims of this refurbishment were twofold: - Within the existing footprint of the house, reorganize the spaces to make better utilization of light, ventilation and the outdoors; - To propose a more robust design response to the need to extend that respects the original house design within a contemporary idiom.
The new works are concentrated at the rear of the house, where a dark glazed brick clad living cube creates a grand room with generous openings to the garden. The cube creates a secondary, contemporary form that is clearly distinct from the front of the house. A timber batten clad outdoor room provides a protected space for open-air dining. The space between the outdoor room, the living cube and a detached masonry garage is stitched together with a timber deck set level with the internal spaces. Underneath the deck a 5000 litre tank collects rainwater for toilet flushing, clothes washing and irrigation. The design provides a new model for rear additions in Haberfield.