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The Project started with a pair of 1930’s concrete garages on top of which the clients wanted to build an office/workroom for their contracting business. This would enable them to physically separate their home from their business, an essential requirement as their business expanded.

A new timber floor spans between the supporting garage walls below.

The new office/workroom addition consists of three main elements:

  1. 200 thick north and south walls that contain all the storage, lighting and wiring requirements for the workplace and link the new building to the garages below. Work benches along each of these walls are protected from the north and west sun and are tucked away from the street to give the inhabitants privacy. Glass blocks puncture these walls to provide visual relief and natural light on work benches
  2. Steel framed ‘bay window’ to the street and view. The steel frame reduces the visual intrusion of the frame and de-emphasises the connection between garages below and roof above. The bay area defines the public front of the space. Bifold Cedar louvres across bay window give privacy at night and low west sun shading .
  3. A roof that ‘floats’ above the ‘massive’ side walls. This explores the idea of a separate roof element hovering above and protecting the inhabitants. This separation also maintains views from the living room of the house behind to the street and western hills beyond. The gable roof pays homage to the original house.

A small bathroom incorporates sandblasted mirror by Basia Smolnicki, floor to ceiling vinyl and simple fittings. Since completion the Owner’s have added a small kitchenette so that the room can double as a self contained guest room as required.

The office addition enriches the streetscape of Owen St Newtown by engaging passers by with its form, unusual materials and colour. For the inhabitants a comfortable and flexible work space has been created that engages with the street life of Newtown without compromising privacy or views.

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