East Brunswick House

Melbourne, Victoria
2017

Transformation of a 1930s semi-detached via substantial internal reconfiguration and addition of a kitchen and living wing to the rear.

Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Kitchen interior living bench

A project driven by the desire to capture natural light, improve spatial flow and add functional space to a previously cold and dark double-brick 1930s bungalow hemmed in by adjoining properties.

A 1970s lean-to addition at the rear was removed and replaced by a lofty and light-filled addition containing a generous, well appointed kitchen and flexible dining/living zone with a built-in bench seat and storage. The addition is set back from the boundaries to take advantage of the east and west for daylight and enhance connection with the garden. 

Carefully designed north facing clerestory windows both bring in direct sunlight in winter and allow the southerly breezes to draw up and out for passive cooling in summer. This is combined with high performance insulation and double glazing to maximise the environmental efficiency of the house year round. 

Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Exterior

Builder
Project Logic

Photography
Joel Noon, Catherine Whitty

The open plan addition employs a subtle demarcation between the kitchen and dining areas through the central island bench, with the kitchen opening to a shaded west facing deck and the dining to an east facing courtyard for a variety of  intimate outdoor zones making the most of the constrained existing outdoor space.

The kitchen is designed to be functional and elegant, with Blackbutt timber utilised for warmth and texture, and Astra White marble for a cool, clean and contemporary feel complimented by the exposed aggregate polished concrete floor. A variety of ceiling heights and lighting treatments emphasise the dynamic and varied wall and ceiling angles.

Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Exterior kitchen
Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Kitchen interior
Wheelahan Whitty Architects East Brunswick House Bench
Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Kitchen interior

Meanwhile the original extent of the dwelling underwent a significant internal reconfiguration in order to realign the layout, thus improving the flow through the house. This efficient reconfiguration also produced an additional bedroom, ensuite, laundry and guest bathroom without increasing the floor area.

Deep skylights punctuate and enliven the realigned hallway, while further natural light is drawn into overshadowed rooms via new, oversized windows.

The angular contemporary form of the rear addition clearly distinguishes itself from the original house, yet its robustness and use of recycled red-blue clinker bricks successfully unify its with its original solid red-brick counterpart.

Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Kitchen interior
Wheelahan Whitty Architects Brunswick East Exterior window