Tasked with expanding a run-of-the-mill 1960s home in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Oakleigh, local office Warc Studio got creative with a glass-and-timber structure that both modernizes the house and opens it up to the backyard garden.
Dezeen notes that it’s a unique take on a common renovation project, as lean-to extensions are added to many Melbourne homes. This one plays off the typical mono-pitched, lean-to extension seen around the city, but Warc Studio made it stand out by pitching the roof and using a laminated timber which incorporates fins to help shade the glazing from the sun.
Connection was achieved to the backyard by placing floor-to-ceiling glass underneath the asymmetric gable. Sliding glass doors take you onto the decked outdoor space, which is covered by the roof's overhang. A window at the apex of the slanted ceiling can be opened, with the idea of releasing hot air in the summer. Inside, the extension creates space for a new living and lounge area with a low wooden bench running along both sides, as well as a dining area and kitchen.
Affordability and sustainability were big factors in this renovation project. The pitched roof means the extension's surface area is 12 percent less than that of a flat-roofed extension, resulting here in a more compact building envelope. Less material was required to construct the addition and less space needs to be heated or cooled as the seasons change. And locally sourced pine used for the structure and fins reduced the need for more costly structural steel. The wood was simply stained and left in its natural state.
Warc Studio placed an emphasis on “spatial interconnectivity” within the home—the glassy addition creates a seamless flow from the living area to the garden, and a sliding panel connects the new living area to the study. Rooms within the existing home were also reconfigured around a new central corridor, improving circulation and providing new views from the entrance straight through to the garden.