One By One
The client wanted an extensive renovation to accommodate the needs of an expanding family that required both proximity and privacy. Demolishing the structure to begin afresh was ruled out since local byelaws stipulated that any new building on the site would need to accommodate a parking floor, which would detract from the sense of a single family home and make the structure appear like a series of stacked apartments. The existing 2½ storey building was therefore completely rebuilt from the inside out, with only the exterior walls retained as part of the building footprint.
An additional staircase and lift core was inserted at the rear corner of the building, mimicking the staff annexe towards the main driveway, providing additional access to each floor. The ground floor was completely gutted, including removing the 40yr old load bearing walls. These were replaced by a complex system of structural steel that now holds up the building. This enabled the ground floor to be completely transparent to the exterior and this is reflected in the flooring – a single material extends from within the building to the edge of the site, expanding the view from within, blurring the boundaries between the interior and exterior space. Upper floors were extensively updated with new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, false ceiling, air conditioning, doors and windows.
As each floor was designed to suit individual requirements, designing a combined façade was a considerable challenge. Local granites in two shades of grey were chosen for their permanence and installed using stainless steel clamps, ensuring a thermal break between the 30mm stone and the exterior wall. This was combined with walnut panelling that was also used to highlight the vertical and projecting elements. While the rest of the building was reimagined in a contemporary aesthetic, an arcade on the first floor was retained and emphasized with a local yellow granite. An aluminium screen on the staff annexe provides privacy, while ensuring adequate light and ventilation.
The project was used to emphasize several of the sustainability strategies that are now the ethos of our practice - LED lighting, rainwater harvesting, double insulated glass, thermal insulation for exterior walls, reusing existing building materials (old wooden frames were reused to create wooden flooring) and conserving embodied energy.