The project was an extension and refurbishment to an existing Federation era house. The domestic Federation era in Australia is often characterised by a strong leaning towards the ‘Arts and Craft’ movement and a new found pride in what it is to be Australian. The inherent natural qualities of locally sourced materials were celebrated, and the craft of detailing and assembly became part of the architectural expression. Thus the use of beautiful timbers, detailed to reveal their colours, strength and grain is a natural extension of the spirit of Federation design. The way we have used the timber is not typical for a traditional Federation dwelling, as we felt it was important not to confuse the recent works with the original. However the warmth provided by the timbers and the furniture-like craftsmanship involved in the construction means that the new works sit comfortably against the old, complimenting without mimicking.
Sydney’s benign climate means that for much of the year the outdoors can be enjoyed for living. If this environment is further tempered with the use of screening devises to protect against hot summer sun, pouring rain and assist in maintaining privacy – the time window for outdoor living can be extended further. The aim of this project was to provide an extension to the living and dining areas of the house with a series if transition spaces that have varying levels of protection and interact directly with the garden and outdoors. The timber battens have been used to make this space: to the ceiling, white painted timber battens placed at 40% opening under a clear polycarbonate roof defuse the sun; to the walls, clear finished timber battens frame the space and views but allow breezes to penetrate; to the floor, open timber decking continues the same level as the indoors but allows rain to drain freely.