Design Brief & Solution

The Brief

The existing early 1980's 3 bedroom brick veneer split level home on a 630sqm sloping block is located in the coastal suburb of Redhead, 16 km south of Newcastle, surrounded by beach to the south, headland and rock shelf to the east, Awakabal Nature Reserve to the east and wetland area to the south. An East-West orientation had the three bedrooms and main living room all with west facing floor to ceiling glass sliding doors on the upper level. The kitchen and dining and laundry facing east at the rear of the home, level with the backyard and covered outdoor area, with the only north facing window being in the laundry.The clients wished to incorporate a living area opening onto the backyard, bring natural light into the home, preference for 4 bedrooms, pool and outdoor entertaining area. 

Design Solution

The design solution delivered an addition to the rear of the house, featuring an open-plan living, dining and kitchen opening onto a large undercover outdoor area and backyard. Passive solar access was the main consideration with the design of this addition, featuring highlight windows to the north, an internal exposed brick wall to the south of the living space for thermal mass and use of low-e glass throughout for energy efficiency. The new galley style kitchen features a north-facing glass splashback, walk-in pantry and sliding servery window opening onto outdoor entertaining area. A large fixed pane window set level with the deck area of the self-cleaning inground pool (by Compass Pools) features in the living room, with motorised external blind for protection from the early morning summer sun. Weathertex  features as the cladding on this new addition, and to the front of the house, where west facing floor to ceiling sliding glass doors were replaced with low-e double-hung windows and solid wall to reduce heat-gain. The former living room was converted to a large main bedroom with walk-in robe and ensuite. The re-configuration of the entry, sitting room/office and existing staircase resulted in a welcoming entry with built in storage shelves, tiled entry way, sitting room/office and resulted in a more efficient use of internal stairs.

The result is a well-designed, functional family home, featuring natural light, cross ventilation and a significant reduction in home energy bills.