Situated in one of the most sought after streets in Kew, Melbourne, Australia, this home has undergone a renovation in the 1980’s which required updating. The front was rather well preserved and had retained existing period features from its ‘Art & Crafts era’ movement, such as the timber wall and ceiling panels and flooring. Canny Design was appointed to design and construct a new extension and restore the existing dwelling by enhancing all the original features.
The client had a distinctive vision for their renovation, to maintain the presence of the front of the home whilst allowing contemporary elements to integrate with the beautiful existing heritage features. The place needed redesigning in order to accommodate a family of six – allowing ample room for four very active, sports-loving children and a retreat for visiting friends and relatives. Each zone needed to adapt to the changing needs of the growing family. Without a doubt, the half court underground basketball court with 6-metre high ceilings was one of the most unique features in the design brief. The children, all being avid basketballers, required this space and the room above with the viewing platform creates a wonderful aspect to see the children play.
The master bedroom area’s existing rooms were reconfigured to allow Canny Design to incorporate a luxurious, spa-like master ensuite and two magnificent walk-in robes. In the outdoor area, an L-shaped swimming pool incorporates a lap pool, spa, water feature and children’s pool – the pool was designed and built by Integrated Pools and is fully tiled and each of the three swimming areas are able to be individually heated via remote iPad/iPhone technology. [Information provided via e-mail by Canny Design; Photography credits: Derek Swalwell]
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.