Power Home - LAD Architecture | ArchiPro

Power Home

Transformed from a dated Huntly-brick home with a traditional gable form to an alluring contemporary black box, this Cambridge home injects an element of mystery and surprise.

The project involved a major renovation by LAD Architecture of a disjointed and dark older home, removing the existing dropped down, attached single garage and poorly planned add-on areas.

Lead designer Aaron Guerin says the original part of the home was completely reconfigured to capitalise on views towards the south and a new pool and entertaining area towards the north. The clients wanted to create a more functional, future-proofed family home, which separated the master suite from the rest of the bedrooms and provided a chill-out zone for teenagers. It had to be more open, light and airy with family and entertaining areas while incorporating some more reflective quiet spaces.

At the same time, they sought privacy for living spaces and an internal courtyard from the front access way. Aaron explains, by placing the garage at the front, it stands guard, providing security and privacy from the road. When you’re in the house, you’re completely enclosed, oblivious to any traffic driving past or passersby.

“It’s like a natural barrier, a buffer between the public spaces and the house. There is also a natural disconnect from neighbouring properties.” Now, when you open the gate with the garage sitting to the right, you look straight down past the courtyard to the front door through a covered walkway. By positioning the hallway along the same side as the entry, the privacy aspect is reinforced.

At the southern end of the house, the main kitchen, dining and living zone is contained in a living pavilion, which also wraps around and steps down into the courtyard. The area opens wide through bi-folds on both sides to big decks allowing a see-through effect that captures both the internal and external views.

A thoroughly considered floor plan allows for a natural, effortless flow between public and private spaces, as well as creating a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor living areas. A new built-in fireplace positioned at the end of the new main living space forms a natural break to the neighbouring property while directing the eye towards the gully views.

At the end of the teenage zone is a north-facing second lounge that also connects with the lawn and pool area. In between the two living areas, a book-lined library or study area offers a quiet sanctuary with a window seat where the owners can escape and get lost in a book.

“Those little nooks and window seats have made it a real family home that’s so enjoyable to live in,” says Aaron. The use of large bifold doors on the northern face and deeper eaves capitalise on and control solar gain. Concrete floors were chosen in the new, lower-level lounge and hallway spaces to provide thermal mass and help regulate internal temperatures.

Pared-back board-and-batten cladding gives a subtle nod to the character of the Cambridge area, while the use of simple roof lines and black cladding add a contemporary flavour. Aaron was keen to give his clients that “nice, clean and square look”. By tucking the metal pitched roof behind parapets, you don’t see the gutters.

It was important that the contemporary exterior colour palette flowed through into the interior, explains Aaron. Warm white interior spaces were chosen to provide a neutral backdrop for bold wall art and soft furnishings. With its simplicity and pared-back form, the renovation has created spaces that work much better for a family. But the highlight has been the effectiveness of the new garage wing that creates a sense of sanctuary in the private, north-facing courtyard. 

Says Aaron: “It has been utilised to great effect, creating a sense of 'journey', naturally directing visitors from the front gate to the entry door.”

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The new garage was placed in front of the property to act as a buffer between the house and the street and also to create an enclosed, internal courtyard.
The garage also serves to reinforce the sightline from the entry to the front door.
The new, north-facing courtyard features a swimming pool, lawn and large entertaining deck.
The new deck provides the family with an enviable outdoor living space, linked to the main living area.
A teenagers' zone—with direct access to the swimming pool—creates multiple living/entertaining areas.
By positioning the internal corridor next to the external walkway the sense of privacy is further enhanced.
A corten steel door complements the new, contemporary feel of the home and is a bold counterpoint to the black board and batten caldding.
A deep window seat in the library/snug is the ideal spot for some quiet contemplation and reading.
The main, open-plan living/dining/kitchen has been placed on the southern side of the house to take advantage of the elevated views.
Wide openings on both ends of the main living area create a see-through effect linking the internal courtyard to the wider external view beyond.
Enhanced living spaces with connection to the newly created courtyard have increased the liveability of the home as the family grows up.
Elevated views have been maximised with the new layout.

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