Modern, comfortable & sustainable

Brief: Extend this home to create light-filled spacious interiors with dynamic architectural features, style and finishes. Focus on sustainable solutions in the design and construction.


This was originally a 1980s basic boxy Department of Housing home.

A new open plan kitchen/dining/living room was added to the rear. The vast curved ceiling, with a height of up to 6 metres, deliver a sense of spaciousness to this new area.

The first-floor addition incorporates the master bedroom, ensuite and lightwell. The lightwell illuminates the centre of the original, previously dark house.

The lightwell doubles as an excellent ventilation source as the windows at the top draw hot air from the lower storey to the outside, which provides good air circulation throughout the house. The windows are electrically operated for ease of use and can be closed off in cooler weather. The wrap-around deck creates a great sense of indoor/outdoor living.


  • Plantation pine plywood external wall cladding on the extension
  • Double glazing throughout
  • Bladder tanks underneath the house collect all stormwater for use on the garden
  • Solar panels installed on the garage roof
  • Garage door was incorporated into the cedar cladding on the front façade to minimise the street impact of the garage
  • Window orientation and size allow winter sun in and keep summer sun out
  • Windows and doors positioned to allow for effective cross-ventilation
  • Large windows provide a great deal of natural light
  • Lightwell minimises the use of electric lighting, and provides great natural ventilation
  • Separated living and sleeping areas allow for zoned heating and cooling
  • Doors between spaces allow for compartmentalisation to help minimise heating and cooling costs as well as noise
  • Most of the original house was retained, promoting recycling
  • Compact layout and brick internal walls retain warmth or coolness, according to season
  • Summer sun penetration is minimised with window awnings and shading devices


Won the major Renovation Project of the Year ACT HIA building award