Hawthorn Hood House by BENT Architecture in Victoria, Australia

Project: Hawthorn Hood House
BENT Architecture
Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Area: 4,854 sf
Year: 2023
Photographs by:
Tatjana Plitt

Hawthorn Hood House by BENT Architecture

The Hawthorn Hood project involved transforming an existing house into a light-filled and engaging ‘forever’ home for a couple with twins. Recognizing limitations in the original house and site, including solar orientation, led to a strategic search for a more suitable location. The selected site, in a preferred neighborhood, guided the design process to create a residence that meets the clients’ long-term needs. Retaining the original home’s period character with a Heritage overlay, the project involved reprogramming the floor plan, unclipping a previous extension, and optimizing the sun-filled rear yard. The new living areas, designed to capture northern sunlight and frame backyard views, seamlessly blend with the grandeur of the original interiors while respecting the heritage context.

The Hawthorn Hood clients (a couple of professionals with primary school-aged twins) approached our studio to design a renovation extension for a house that they occupied in a neighboring suburb. It became apparent, through early investigations, that the resultant design would likely be heavily compromised due to a number of inherent limitations in the house and site, the most significant being the solar orientation of the allotment.

These initial conversations sparked a hunt for a house and site that would better suit our client’s long-term needs. A short list of preferred suburbs, streets, and orientation informed a letter-drop campaign that culminated in the purchase of the project site. Design discussions commenced in haste, and the result is a light-filled and engaging ‘forever’ home that ticks all of our clients’ boxes!

The original house has a strong period character and is protected by a Heritage overlay. Rather than turn its back on the form and materiality of the original home, our response was to engage with and reinterpret the characteristics that define it, in particular, the grand proportions of the existing interior spaces and the highly articulated terracotta roof form. The project commenced by ‘unclipping’ a previous extension renovation at the rear of the home and re-programming the floor plan to harness the sun-filled rear yard.

Bedrooms and utilities occupy the original home and the spacious roof form, whilst new living areas, positioned to the north of the original house, draw upon the grandeur of the original interiors, harness northern sunlight, and frame views of the backyard and pool. The new living areas are defined externally as a reclamation of the roof of the original house, folding down at the rear of the house in response to the function of the spaces within whilst offering a sympathetic nod to the original house and the surrounding rooflines of its heritage neighborhood.

BENT Architecture


Tags: addition, Australia, BENT Architecture, contemporary, extension, hawthorn, luxury, modern, renovation, Victoria

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