dion seminara architecture Case Study: Post-war Brisbane 1950’s bungalow renovation in Kenmore
OUR CLIENT’S REQUIREMENTS: The owners of this Kenmore home wanted it modernised. In their brief, they explained that they wanted us to improve the homes street appeal and provide an open plan living/dining/kitchen space. There was a distinct lack of connection between the inside and outside areas of the home, so the brief also included the creation of an indoor/outdoor space, to create stronger links to their garden which was being redeveloped as part of the overall project, to create a covered link to the garage and new carport and finally to create a cellar (wine buffs).
THE PROJECT IN DETAIL: This was a home with ‘good bones’ as we say; a post-war bungalow that whilst cramped, had a certain charm.
But for all its quaint appeal it lacked functionality and the owners wanted more from their home.
There was no connection between the interior and the yard outside. Homes of this era pretty much all suffer in this way. The outside of the home was also a place to be avoided during the heat of the day and overall the home suffered from very poor ventilation, making it particularly hot and stuffy in summer.
Inside the home was the typical one room removed from the other style of design where walls separate family and friends and make getting around the home so much more cumbersome than it needs to be. On top of this, the small house had a bit of a cluttered feel that needed to be addressed.
Controlling the elements was one of the first areas we wanted to focus on. We wanted to take advantage of prevailing breezes whilst blocking out unwanted heat. By fitting shading devices to the exposed north-facing windows we were able to allow air to flow through and light to enter the home, whilst reducing the overall heat and glare.
The owners also wanted to be able to spend time outside in an area that was comfortable and protected from the elements. Creating a large deck with shutters gave them the outdoor space they wanted as well as creating a wonderful connection between the inside and outside of their property. It also created a connection between the garden which had been overhauled, the garage and a new carport. The addition of this deck alone transformed the overall feel of the property.
But we were not finished yet.
Inside the home the internal wall separating the living spaces from the kitchen and dining room came down immediately opening up the home giving it a spacious, yet still intimate feel. Now there was room to move but no longer did the person in the kitchen feel like a social outcast who was missing out on the conversation.
The kitchen itself was completely overhauled and modernised as was the original bathroom and ensuite. One of the original bedrooms was transformed into a spacious walk-in robe, the study had shelving and a desk added and a new entertainment area was able to be accommodated through the removal of the end wall. The addition of a wine cellar created a talking point, an extra bit of ‘Wow factor’ if you like.
The tired looking carpets were ripped up revealing sturdy floorboards that responded brilliantly to a bit of polishing. New lighting was added and the walls were repainted.
From the street the home looks simply stunning. As you walk through the home the difference is immediately noticeable, not just in the gorgeous appearance of the renovated interior, deck and garden, but also in terms of comfort. The home is now naturally lit without suffering from harsh glare. It is cool in the warmer months thanks to the natural air-flow combined with keeping the heat off the windows. There is so much more space and storage now as well as greater inclusion.
But most importantly all of this was achieved without sacrificing the original charm of the home. The renovations have blended in perfectly with the existing structure to add to it and enhance it rather than replace it; a point that was very much appreciated by the owners.
THE ARCHITECTURAL SERVICE PROCESS
My clients had lived in their Kenmore home for 30 years already when they took up one of our lifestyle assessment advice services. They had never done any major changes, in fact except for a few minor internal adjustments in the late 1970’s nothing had changed at all.
As you would expect my new customers had lots of questions. Rapport between my client and I developed quickly and on completion of my advice service my client – a semi-retired couple at that stage – agreed to engage my services for our measured drawings and sketch design concept service.
Our measured drawing service involves us organising a survey to be completed – a site spot level and contour survey. Once this was completed we then developed our client’s concept and presented this to them. They were absolutely delighted by the results and immediately saw the benefit of engaging me for our total architectural and project managed service.
They were so happy with the design they didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
Even though my client’s were delighted with what we had done, the design concept needed to be developed further. This is normal and a part of our service that we refer to as Design Development. We then organised an assessment of the building cost from our independent estimator and presented this so our client’s would have a very accurate idea of the investment required in this project. This was very close to my original thoughts on cost which is often the case.
My client’s then signed off and we progressed into building approval and construction documentation phase. We also offer a full interior design service as well as a landscape design service. Our client’s took advantage of both of these services, seeing the benefits in having us co-ordinate everything so that all parts of the project worked in together and not against each other as can sometimes be the case when external designers get involved.
Several review meetings then took place as we gained feedback from our clients and finalised their detailed requirements. We then went with our clients to various suppliers including tile shops, veneer suppliers and plumbing fittings & fixture suppliers to make selections, allowing us to create a very detailed package of documents including detailed specifications.
The next phase of our service included sourcing three reputable builders and asking them to price the project (called our tender process). Generally we call tenders from a group of builders we know to do high quality work.
After going through each tender with our client we awarded the project. Building works were carried out over a 9 month period under our guidance via our contract administration process where we carry out weekly inspections, answer all builder queries, manage all the financial affairs on behalf of the client like builders claims, any variations etc.
As part of this process we also manage time frames of the project and carry out full defects inspection on completion. Under the particular building contract we implement our client benefits with retention arrangement, full security of payment, access to a professional who is looking after their interests, regulated timeline for the project and series of contractual controls for the benefit of all parties; all of which resulted in a gorgeous and stress free renovation that more than achieved our clients goals.
Some of the specific materials for this project included:
WALLS: Kitchen/Casual Dining: Plasterboard Kitchen: All cabinetwork Dining: Plasterboard Living: Plasterboard Bedroom: Plasterboard Stair: Nil Outdoor: Mini-orb, plywood and external flush set sheeting
KITCHEN: Benchtop: Stone Italiana reconstituted stone Splashback: Colour back glass Cabinetry: Timber veneer
SANITARY FIXTURES + BATHROOM FITTINGS: Supplied by Christians, Newmarket Road Newmarket Brisbane
WINDOWS + EXTERNAL DOORS: Stegbar wide framed casements (aluminium to outside, timber inside) to maximise ventilation
OUTDOOR: Landscaping, decking, shading or paving details: Pavers and gravel over 45000l water storage tank Split faced block garden walls Water feature pot New entry gatehouse Shutterflex aluminium shutters fixed and adjustable to outdoor area
Click HERE to see more images of this beautiful renovation.