The Runners House is a contemporary refurbishment and extension of an existing house by AR Design Studio, located on the outskirts of Winchester, England. Nestled along a leafy lane on the outskirts of Winchester sits Kilham House. Once a tired building with a confusing layout, the house now boasts a contemporary update that really transforms the house into the five-bedroomed family home that it desperately needed to be.
A grand, double-height entrance guides you into the building, immediately bringing you into the heart of the home which has now been become the main living space for the family. A large expanse of sliding glazing gives views into the garden, allowing the three children to run wild whilst the parents can relax in the central space and still keep a watchful eye.
A key and exciting feature of the house is the staircase. Centered in the property it acts as a locus to the project, dividing the space between the kitchen, dining area and the living areas. Steel wires hang around the staircase, enclosing it in a contemporary wrap whilst also forming part of the balustrade. The stairs take you up to the first floor and onto a bridge that flows across the double height entrance space. A tongue in cheek use of Foscarini’s Gregg pendant lights give a feeling of being up in the clouds, adding to airy and spacious feel of the central space.
At the rear of the property a central timber form connects the two wings of the house and projects into the garden creating an architectural form that ties the whole project together. A large concrete plinth that steps down to the garden creates a place to relax and dine outdoors. The concrete plinth flows into the property and makes up the entire ground floor surface. This use of material, mixed with the large sliding glazed panels that face onto the garden, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors.
Photos: Martin Gardner
House at Neil Road celebrates the traditional charm of Peranakan shophouses with the addition of new spaces sensitive to the building’s rich heritage, by ONG&ONG, in the conservation district of Singapore. Akin to traditional shophouses, the spaces are interspersed with courtyards that serve as visual focal points. The original courtyard forms the heart of the common areas while a newer courtyard marks the transition from the old structure into its new extension.
The shophouse walls tell a similar story of progression from old to new, with paintwork along the forecourt’s boundary walls stripped and left unfinished, revealing layers of paintwork and the shophouse’s history. Exposed brick walls reveal old bricks manufactured with local clay that are no longer in production. This creates a stark contrast when juxtaposed with the original courtyard wall – its original blue paintwork and folklore-inspired fresco restored to celebrate the shophouse’s Peranakan heritage.
Other preservation efforts include the restoration of the facade; the original red cement flooring of the five-foot way, living and dining spaces; the original timber flooring and exposed floor joists of the upper levels; and the terrazzo finish for the bathrooms, which highlights an age-old craft that is becoming a dying trade in Singapore. Details such as bathroom vanities accented with glazed Peranakan tiles, the old iron main gate and the “pintu pagar” (Malay for “door gate”) demarcating the master bedroom’s entrance further enrich the authentic tonalities of the shophouse.
With its blending of old and new elements, this house not only preserves a unique cultural heritage, but also acts as a storytelling device that narrates the histories of its past and present occupants.
Photos: Courtesy of ONG&ONG
This incredible shingle style bungalow house was given a complete update by McElroy Architecture, sitting high on one of San Francisco’s hills with panoramic views. It had been loved for 100 years but was in need of serious upgrades from foundation to roof. The architects opened up the floor plan, extended the top floor to create a larger master suite, and cantilevered a deck off the living area.
The vaulted ceilings and expansive sliding doors at each level create a bright, lofty experience. Composed of a simple palette of woods, slate and glass, the remodeled house feels modern yet retains the warmth and scale of its hilltop bungalow origin.
Radiant heat, recycled and natural finish materials are some of the project’s sustainable features.
Before the Renovation
Photos: Paul Dyer Photography
Moor Street Residence is a contemporary renovation for a family of four, designed by Andrew Maynard Architects, located in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The family had lived in this modest, aging house for almost eight years. As the children neared their teenage years something had to be done. Abandoning their home and moving elsewhere was not an option as the family was an important part of a thriving community. The tricky yet fun part of this home re-design was creating a new house in a narrow plot of only 4.5 meters.
Within this pocket of Fitzroy is a dense mix of workers’ cottages and small terraces. All are modest in size, many are dark and cold. Many of the cottages and terraces are in original condition, with a simple facade hiding an assemblage of brick and weatherboard lean-tos in the rear yard looking onto bluestone laneways. These lean-tos create a mesh of detailed and varying volumes, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the street front. When building in the rear of a property in this context, facing onto the laneway, one is acutely aware of the smallness and texture of the existing built form. Within this context the burden is on the designer is to respond to the assemblage of small volumes while also maximizing the potentials of the owners’ brief.
As Fitzroy has gentrified we have seen renewal take place in unsympathetic ways. There are numerous examples of this assemblage of dark brick and weatherboard being replaced with large contemporary objects that dominate its context. The tactic at Moor Street was to maximise the interior functions and available space, while also responding to the context by creating a single building out of three small objects rather than a single contemporary monolith. The tired lean-to which housed the kitchen, bathroom, dining and laundry were removed. These functions were relocated and updated along with the addition of a master bedroom over. The original brick terrace was retained, tidied and brought back to life.
In the center of the original house was a small light well containing a beautiful, yet constrained, Japanese maple tree. The family often found themselves conversing through this lightwell. Conversations took place, through the maple, from upstairs bedroom to kitchen opposite, to study space and even the bathroom. The maple was retained and the lightwell expanded and surrounded in glass, bringing the tree into the living spaces. The conversations between spaces and levels, through the maple, are better and easier than ever.
The separate boxes on the upper level contain the master bedroom. This space is surrounded by the canopy of the maple to the south and the canopy of a large gum tree to the north, making the master bedroom feel much like a treehouse. Through the gum’s canopy are views over Fitzroy, revealing the detailed assemblage of the brick and weatherboard lean-tos of the surrounding workers’ cottages and small terraces.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
The 9th and Hudson townhouse project is the complete gut renovation and two story extension by Jensen C. Vasil Architect of a four story plus cellar structure, located in Manhattan, New York. The total living area of this stunning contemporary residence is 4,644 square feet. The residence showcases hardwood flooring throughout most of the interiors, high ceilings, white plastered walls, crown moulding and in some areas exposed brick.
Jensen C. Vasil Architect is a multi-disciplined firm serving the Metro New York and New Jersey areas. We are committed to providing the highest quality service to our clients from inception to completion and can provide proven experience in a wide variety of buildings and uses.
Photos: Jennifer Brown
This spectacular modern makeover has been transformed by Peter Vincent Architects into an open, modern space ideal for the flow of daily living, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Once a compartmentalized home, the interiors of this renovation are luxurious and cozy, while showcasing a worldly collection of modern art. The renovation objectives provided for a continuity of harmonious living, featuring new mauka-makai views, natural ventilation and an enhanced ambiance that blurs the home’s boundaries.
The kitchen, previously sectioned off from the family and dining rooms, became a focal point. A structural load-bearing wall and corner dumbwaiter were removed, effectively decompartmentalizing both the upper and lower levels. The kitchen now features the largest island ever designed by PVA and a stunning custom-made, hand-blown, recycled glass aqua chandelier.
Also enlarged and opened were the master suite, entry courtyard and Great Room, resulting in a strengthened indoor-outdoor relationship. Respecting the original home’s meaningful components, the old front door and gilded stair railings were repurposed into new, interior artwork featured in wall niches.
Photos: Olivier Koning
If you’re thinking about embarking on a DIY home renovation mission, make sure you think long and hard before taking the plunge. Despite how easy the smiling home makeover TV host makes it seem, the reality is that DIY can be far more complicated than it looks. Careful planning is the key to success and without it; you could end up facing on of these classic DIY disasters!
Blowing the budget
When undergoing DIY projects, it’s easy to get carried away with all the excitement of adding a fancy new addition to your home. While a steel roll top bathtub and marble kitchen bench tops may have seemed like a good idea at the time, many people end up fainting with shock when they see their monthly credit card bill.
Taking the wrong measurements
There’s no DIY fail more frustrating than taking the wrong measurements. Not only is this mistake time consuming but it can also cost you a huge amount of cash.
Buying the wrong fittings
Acts such as buying a pair of pillar taps for a basin designed for a single mixer are a classic DIY fail. Buying unsuitable shower hoses and piping is also a DIY disaster. If you’re a bathroom renovation novice, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. Rather than fumble around with multiple fittings, why not consider an electric shower that efficiently heats water with a no fuss internal element? Simple, effective and easy to install! Find out more about Mira electric showers.
Underestimating the cost
Not taking the time to draw up a budget is a one way road to DIY catastrophe. If you run out of cash halfway through your project, there’s not much you can do but live in a building site. As such, it pays to get a good idea of what you’ll need to spend before starting the DIY process.
Choosing a short-lived theme
While you may have loved lime green at the time, chances are that in a few months, you’re not going to be so fond of your gaudy colored walls. The same goes for that hot pink refrigerator and vibrant patterned carpet. These are some of the biggest mistakes DIY renovators make and the best advice we can offer is to try and keep your colour scheme as neutral and inoffensive as possible.
That majestic fireplace may have looked amazing in the show room but in reality, it’s more than likely going to dwarf your small scale living room and look ridiculous. As such, it’s a good idea to draw up some 3D models or use chalk to map out how big features are going to be and what they’re going to look like.
Not seeking approval
When it comes to outdoor DIY projects, many people don’t realize that they often need council permission. A visit from a local inspector while you’re halfway through constructing your new summer pergola could end in tears.
Scrimping on quality
While it’s advisable to save money wherever possible, this philosophy doesn’t always apply. If you skimp on things that are going to get a lot of use, you could end up having to replace them after just a few months.
Using dubious tools
At the end of the day, an adequate set of tools is a DIY essential. Those that try to use the wrong tool for the job risk the success of their project and their own safety!
Being too hasty
When you’ve knocked down a wall or drilled a huge hole into a tile, there’s no going back. This can be a nightmare when you realize that your measurements were wrong or you decide that you want your shower installed on the other side of the bathroom.
Keeping these 10 simple DIY disaster examples in mind will help ensure your next DIY project is smart, safe and successful!
Photo Sources: 1. John Kraemer & Sons, 2. KitchenLab, 3. Lewis Aquatech, 4. Design Plans, 5. HGTV, 6. Claremont Companies, 7. Susan Jablon Mosaics, 8. Julie Williams Design, 9. Verdance Landscape Design, 10. Avalon Interiors, 11. transFORM | The Art of Custom Storage, 12. HGTV