Rob Kennon Architects redesign a 1920s Elwood bungalow by introducing a low-lying, single-storey extension built around a circular garden.
Rob Kennon Architects’ latest residential project sees the clever regeneration of an overlooked and overgrown rear garden; transformed into a centralised outdoor courtyard. Lifting cues from lauded Australian architect Roy Grounds’ Hill Street House, designed in 1953, the family home articulates a mid-century design sensibility through a series of radially connected spaces. Where subtracting space is just as important as adding it, Elwood Bungalow challenges the typical floorplan through circular geometry and an established connectedness to the outdoors.
The home appears as a humble Californian bungalow, revealing little to no notion of the rear addition that lays behind the pitched-roof facade. The entrance hall, children’s bedrooms, bathrooms and a rumpus are contained within the original build, while the new extension houses the main living areas and master retreat.
The materiality and colour palette inside the extension remain sensitive to the home’s past life. Weighted materials like concrete, terrazzo and masonry walls complement the facade and subtly unite both builds as one, punctuated by warm oak in the kitchen cabinetry and dining room furniture. The circular nature of the extension is a subtle motif throughout the home, reflected in the cylindrical range hood, skylights and dining table legs.
Notable design pieces from the mid-century era like the CH24 Wishbone Chair are paired with contemporary joinery and fixtures. In addition, a custom-designed shelving unit by Rob Kennon Architects – a concept also seen in their Fitzroy North home – distinguishes the dining space from the cornered living room without compromising on flow.
An atmospheric hallway clad in bagged brick and narrow linear timber battens leads you to the light-filled bedroom, complete with a concealed study nook. The master bedroom enjoys the same natural light and courtyard views as the rest of the home, maintaining the connected ethos throughout the home.
Elwood Bungalow by Rob Kennon Architects dilutes boundaries between inside and out, favouring an unconventional home layout through the tension of addition and subtraction. By rethinking the parameters of the site and extending the design outward, the light-filled home creates a sense of intimacy and togetherness for the family who lives there.