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Motif House

The Motif House, Kew (05/2018-12/2020)

We are currently in the Post Construction Stage of this Alterations & Additions project; works to an existing single storey family residence, improving the layout and flow of the ground floor and providing an increase to the habitable floor space via a parents retreat at the upper level. The design incorporates solar passive design principles and brings much needed light and sunshine into a previously dark and cold interior. The new works are clearly new modern contemporary, although in consideration to the existing c. 1910 period home.

The original home had been partially renovated, with a large almost double height living space added, although this was surrounded by a deep verandah which blocked all access to the North sun. We felt this zone could be demolished and re-built, re-configured to accommodate the client’s requirements within the existing building envelope; thus maintaining the generous size of the private North facing Terrace and garden zone. At the front entry verandah, the original light and open timber balustrade was reinstated (this had earlier been replaced with hit and miss brickwork, brick railing and concrete columns, appearing heavy and overbearing).

05 - Copy B&W

The works at the Ground Floor include the re-positioning of the Living, Dining, Kitchen and Walk in Pantry within this completely re-built wing, raised so the floor level no longer stepped down from the existing Kitchen. A new Bathroom and Powder re-configures the existing TV/Den, with a Laundry to replace the existing Bathroom. The existing Master Bedroom changes use to become a Rumpus, with close access from the two children’s Bedrooms. A new Guest Bedroom replaces the existing Walk in Robe and Ensuite. The existing Kitchen and Walk in Pantry are demolished and a new Dining with Study nook provided, opening to a West facing Terrace with access also off the new Rumpus. A new Stair is concealed via a sliding door and is provided behind the Living joinery to access a Master Bedroom with Walk in Robe and Ensuite at the second level. The works also include the replacement of the existing Garage and creation of a Storage room connecting this outbuilding to the home.

Original Building Motif House

The geometry of the North facing glazing to the Master Suite at Level 1 references the carved shapes present in the period-built mullions over the front door, visually engaging with the heritage features of the existing dwelling, while avoiding reproduction architecture. When viewed externally, the angled faces reflect the garden, trees and sky all at once in a panoramic kaleidoscope; with the form providing internal space for daybeds, shelving and a planter box for enhanced privacy within the Ensuite. The external materials include red brickwork carefully matched to the existing and zinc upper-level addition. The pitch of the slate roof to the new stairwell can be seen from the streetscape and so has been matched in slope and material to the existing gable.

Energy Efficiency: The many deciduous maple trees surrounding the North Terrace screen the proposal considerably in Summer, while allowing the Winter sun to penetrate. A tall skylight provides a shaft of light at the edge of the Kitchen and between the Living and Dining space to provide natural sunlight deep into the floor plate. An 8.17kW Solar Photovoltaic Array provides electricity, connected to the grid, although able to store 13.5Wh via a 5kW Tesla Powerwall battery system.