A blended modernity
When planning and constructing an extension, connection is everything. Connecting the old with the new, both practically and conceptually, is the key to achieving an end result that strikes a cohesive balance right down to the finest detail. Architect Sam Klopper took this idea to the next level, designing the addition to his Shenton Park home to not only engage with the existing building, but also the world around it.
The original small 1920s bungalow has been converted into an extensive modern home, with re-oriented access to the adjacent laneway to encourage interaction and views of the neighbourhood.
“We wanted to make (the home) more about urban living, not shutting your back on the community, ” Mr Klopper said. “The entry is now where the old house used to end and faces the laneway. It is now a central connecting space between the old and the new.”
Pops of colour and pressed tin ceilings help to combine elements of the two styles in this central entrance hall. A picture window was retained as a mirror and the ceilings were dropped down for a smooth transition.
Mr Klopper said he left the old part “pretty beaten up, to feel like a remnant and contrast with the sharp modern house”. Pacific teak cladding was used inside and out, again, for consistency. The indoor-outdoor link was an important consideration, he said.
“I grew up in the house next door and planted that tree, ” he said, referring to the imposing oak shading the neighbouring yard. I’m going to do the same in this backyard. “We used the dramatic void (in the living area) to connect with the garden and the louvres are on the sun angle, which lets in the winter sun.”
There is already one mature tree in the garden, which acted as the centrepiece for the full but low-maintenance landscaping. Chinese bluestone paving was used for the alfresco area and pool area.
Mr Klopper said he was “not a fan of pool fencing”, so he had steel poles fitted close enough together so that they acted as a barrier.
Steel poles as a pool barrier.
He described the addition’s interior styling as “mid-century modern” as it has a distinct 1960s feel, particularly in the lounge with its high timber feature wall, bronze pendant lights by renowned British designer Tom Dixon, monochrome colour scheme with bursts of vibrant hues, and array of collectables on display in an elevated bookcase.
The lounge serves as the hub of the home — a warm and open space that flows between the streamlined kitchen and the outdoor area.
A void provides unobstructed views from the study on the second floor, which also benefits from a garden outlook and a flood of natural light. Sliding doors were installed between the study and main suite, for ease of access and division when needed.
In this home — which was nominated in the 2013 Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards — the staircase was not just used as a necessary utility; it forms a dynamic backdrop to the living area and is another example of the importance of connection.
“I designed a balustrade of timber loops, softening between the sleek painted finish and the timber behind, ” Mr Klopper said.
The grey marble steps have fossils inside them; this perhaps serves as the best symbol of the home’s design philosophy, where materials of different vintages work together.
A mid-century modern, 1960s feel.
Sam Klopper’s tips for recreating his home’s warm, integrated indoor-outdoor design:
•A void in the living area is dramatic and connects the room with the garden. Full-height windows let in lots of light but automatic blinds shade most of the summer glare.
•Integrating storage and appliances behind cupboards keeps the kitchen streamlined.
•Timber adds character and contrast, both inside and out. We used recycled ironbark telegraph poles for the kitchen bench.
•I like to keep things on show in the bathroom so it looks more ramshackle and lived in, not dressed up and prissy. Try using display shelves.
•We wanted to make the block feel bigger so we had the front verge landscaped. Natives are good for low-maintenance gardens.
Architect / Klopper & Davis Architects, 9381 4731, kada.com.au Builder / Wenham Constructions, 6389 0044, wenhamconstructions.com.au Landscape design / Alfalfa Landscape, 0408 595 303 Lounge furniture / Grandfather’s Axe, Melbourne, (03) 9489 8648, grandfathersaxe.com.au Pressed tin / Heritage Ceilings, Bunbury, 9725 2206, heritageceilings.com.au Chinese bluestone paving / Eco Outdoor, Osborne Park, 1300 131 413, ecooutdoor.com.au Timber windows and doors / Cockburn Joinery, 9330 2282, cockburnjoinery.com.au
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