Project name:

Karranga Ave, Killara


Stewart Design Studio


Project details:

The house sits comfortably on the large block of land, surrounded by mature trees.  The owners wanted to upgrade and extend the accommodation to suit current lifestyle trends and wanted to be able to accommodate visiting family members for extended periods of time. 

The existing dwelling is a fine example of Federation architecture. The dwelling is protected by a Kuring-Gai Council heritage listing.

The additional accommodation was designed as a series of linked small buildings connected to the original dwelling. The link between the buildings is essentially a covered verandah. The new work is located behind the building line of the existing dwelling to minimize visual impact to the streetscape. The new work forms a u-shaped courtyard around the existing swimming pool.

Additions to heritage buildings can either be designed to be starkly contemporary and minimalist in contrast to the original building or designed to sympathetically blend with the original built form. In this instance there was consensus between the council, the owner and the heritage architect for all new work to match the original materiality and detail of the old house. This required immense attention to detail during the building phase. Not only was a high skill level required to execute the intricate detailing on new work but the existing building fabric needed to be meticulously repaired and upgraded to extend its lifespan. The structural integrity of the old building had to be checked and, in many instances, repaired whilst preserving original detailing such as the intricate plaster ceilings. It is fortunate that the owners not only appreciate the period styling and details but were prepared to invest in the extensive upgrade at the highest level of quality. An example of this was the replacement of the existing roof using the highest quality slate with copper accessories such as the beautiful roof vents. Re-roofing allowed for all flashings to be replaced and all eaves to be repaired/replaced.

The attention to detail was consistent through the entire project, with great care given to joinery design, lighting, sourcing of recycled timber flooring to match existing, selection of fittings and fixtures plus the colour palette.

The changes have been made with little impact to the streetscape and surrounding development, yet the altered building provides an amazingly comfortable home that discreetly incorporates contemporary functionality.

Some of the site challenges were discovered at the start of the project.

There is a basement construction cellar that required a sewer encasement. Once encased, piles either side of the sewer enabled footing to span over to support the structure above.

Matching the existing masonry brickwork at the rear of the building was also challenging.

The original commons had a mixture of colours. After consultation with a brick supplier. A mixture of 4 different types of bricks was arranged so the new masonry did not have chipped edges from secondhand bricks, but closely resembles the existing work.

Matching floorboards was achieved by sourcing secondhand timber from a nearby demolition from a home that carried the same flooring as well as keeping areas that where demolished as part of the renovation.

 Weekly meetings with Client, Project Designer and builder enabled the client to make decisions on options of refurbishment or replacement of the existing fabric throughout the construction.

This resulted in a smooth collaboration for the construction period.

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