Deconstructing the Traditional Extension Typology - Caroline House by Kennedy Nolan
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Through a reference to the whimsical, a play on colour, texture and planning, Kennedy Nolan’s Caroline House sees a traditional Edwardian home in inner-Melbourne challenge the traditional extension typology.
Caroline House is an exercise in challenging the traditional and expected with regard to the response to adaptive living. Originally, the site was home to an existing Edwardian weatherboard home in need of repair and extension. Through the reimagining of the existing and an expressive approach to texture, colour and planning, a sense of whimsy has been instilled. Kennedy Nolan, together with Overend Construction, has proposed a typology that speaks to a sense of the playful, reacts to movement, and encourages a sense of connection.
The brief was functionally not challenging, consisting of the popular approach to contemporary living, encouraging connection, openness and efficiency. In response, the planning takes on a formal approach, and a balance is created between the garden and the interior space. A pavilion structure to the rear of the expansive backyard was added, creating a walled courtyard surrounding the graphic circular pool designed by the Kennedy Nolan team. A new addition to the existing Edwardian-style home, the pool unconventionally drops off dramatically at the edge, creating in an effect reminiscent of a pond formation in the landscape. The result becomes a centre-point visually that is dark, deep and compact, and an activation point between the built elements.
Intertwined within the expressive elements are functional and sustainable principles that speak to lessons learned. Together with Amanda Oliver Landscapes, courtyards throughout are created to assist with cross-ventilation, additional natural light through northern aspects and a connection to the outdoor. The pool also provides evaporative cooling effects during the summer months, while the brick cladding allows for a thermal loading and slow release of heat gains. Externally, the charred timber on the upper levels references its lightweight position above, and acts as a counterpoint to the weighted materiality below.
Throughout, Kennedy Nolan’s deliberate imperative to avoid the expected and create a specific aesthetic conjures a sense of curiosity – a curiosity that connects details, textures, form and planning. The resulting series of living and retreat zones connect through their effortless flow between them. The eccentric formal qualities of the details allow for an expression of space and a unique identity to be formed. Playfully imagining what contemporary living can be, Kennedy Nolan has utilised an existing Edwardian-style home to propose a new residential typology. Caroline House speaks to a more inquisitive and layered approach in how we propose to renovate and extend the past.