At est we’ve always got a soft spot for design that works within restraints. While we might be spoilt for space in Australia, working within an existing structure is a sustainable and forward-thinking approach. Reimagining an existing interwar duplex on a sloping site for contemporary living, local practice Foomann Architects have pulled out a bag of tricks to create a family-friendly home.
The steep elevation of the site provided the first hurdle when working with this existing building, as while it provided excellent views it had created a disconnect between the home and its outdoor areas. To better integrate the inside and out, Foomann Architects buried the old garage doors behind a grassy hill to connect the central living space to the garden and a swimming pool, while the basement garage itself became a kids’ play area.
Enlisting the help of Quadro Constructions, Foomann Architects adapted the existing home structure primarily through the demolition of dividing walls and floors, simplifying what had been a complex floor plan and opening up the communal spaces. A new central void above the entry allows for more light to seep into the common areas, while also giving visual clarity to the arrangement of spaces.
Foomann Architects have also paid respect to the heritage of the home with the curved details and materials throughout. Rich timber floors, crisp white walls and cleverly hidden storage work in harmony to add a fresh atmosphere throughout the home, while bolder materials such as terrazzo and marble add accents to the bathroom and kitchens.
While the home might retain much of its original charm from the outside, inside it feels fully revitalised for its inhabitants, creating a fresh backdrop for all kinds of family activity. With communal activity encouraged, light and space prioritised and easy, workhorse features and furnishings, this is a home that respects its roots while encouraging a whole new generation to play and enjoy each others’ company.