Most of the building is behind the original house but the southern elevation can be seen from the street. The main driver for the elevation has been our internal planning given that the site is narrow and there are only a few ways we can fit our brief onto the site. What this means is that the elevation presents as a one storey blank wall at the front of the house and becomes a two storey blank wall at the rear. There can be no windows to the south because of fire regulations and because a neighbour would have a right to build against our wall. To reduce the impact of this blank expanse the elevation has been split horizontally. The lower half will be brickwork to match the original house. This brickwork runs beyond the house to form a garden wall. Elevationally this gives a more linear quality, it also ties the old house with the new house. Practically it gives shelter from wind and increases privacy from neighbouring balconies. A 100mm rebate sits between the upper and lower elevation. This is a good architectural technique that will give a lighter, floating, appearance to the upper storey. At this stage we are still looking at different elevational options. The cheapest option that we feel could work has been allowed for in our costings. It is a black miniorb sheet covering in black. This should be crisp and we like the contrast between the black and white and the contrast between slightly rough brickwork and the precise metal. Our other options are: Timber weatherboards with vertical battens which will fade to grey, cement sheet panels painted different shades of green with 10mm rebates between each panel, Black zinc sheeting with vertical seams at random interval and an image printed onto architectural fabric. It is likely some of these are out because of costs but below is a poll. We’d love your opinion.
So it was back to the drawing board to design a simplified two storey version reusing the kitchen and bathroom. The drawings below show this. I love baths because they help me think so we had an unusual bath mezzanine. This seems odd but it would be an amazing place to relax in the evening. We sent this design to get costed again and it came back with a construction estimate of $350K. This is a huge sum of money and more than we wanted to pay but we decided to go ahead with planning with the view that we could trim the design down in the future.
We moved into our new home and we were thrilled. There was no heating, the bathroom included a fleshtone jacuzzi, the kitchen was built out of weetabix but there was potential and it set us dreaming. We brought in our furniture and moved it around to see what worked best. We sketched and argued often about what was best and where. There was great trauma as my wife’s parents insisted, via my wife, that we should have a bathroom downstairs and that we needed lots of storage. Obviously these are great things to have but the existing layout didn’t make these requests easy without forgoing something else. Below was our existing plan