Balwyn House

Balwyn House

One of Balwyn’s earliest  homes is restored and given a new lease of life by introducing a modern addition that transforms the old home into a courtyard style of house.  This courtyard becomes the new focus of the house - indoor and outdoor living are finally united as one.  The existing living areas of the home are opened up and connected with the courtyard to knit new and old together. 

The new additions have striking pitched roof forms as a modern acknowledgement of the substantial terracotta roof of the existing house.   The modern Colorbond clad walls of the new buildings unmistakably differentiate old from new, but their dark colour helps moderate their relationship with the old house.

To the north, the kitchen roof is pitched downwards to maximise north light in the courtyard.  To the south, the roof of the double storey pool house is also pitched down towards the courtyard to give it a smaller sense of scale, and to provide a north facing roof for solar panels.  Sheltered from prevailing winds and open to the sun, the courtyard is designed with all year round use in mind.

Whist modern outdoor living is the priority of this addition the environment has not been forgotten.  Simple passive design techniques underpin the environmental performance, along with a low allergy interior and low maintenance materials.  Thermally broken double glazed windows and doors bring the old and new buildings to a much higher level of energy efficiency, and a large underground water tank helps offset the water used by the swimming pool and household.

Photography:  Michael Downes, UA Creative

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