It all began with a dark old house, a client’s desire to bring light and green garden glimpses inside, and a desperate need to extend the back half of a heritage residence to accommodation a family’s changing needs.
In the meantime, what has transpired is a gorgeous architectural masterpiece.
In a clear, but complementary distinction between old and new, Alison Dodds Architects has cleverly transformed a cold and tired 1970s extension into a light-filled, welcoming family home, while carefully preserving the period features of the original Edwardian house. “We have opened up and enlivened internal spaces, creating glimpses of the garden. Now there is an incredible sense of light, it’s a completely different place,” remarks Alison Dodds, Principal Architect, Alison Dodds Architect.
What makes this project stand apart is the restrained yet sophisticated material palette of locally made Krause Grampian Blue bricks, natural Chalford limestone and metallic charcoal metal cladding, all beautifully complementing the original red brick and stucco house.
In fact, it all started with the bricks. “Krause bricks drove the materiality of the design. We had seen Krause Grampian Blue bricks used in the John Wardle designed Lake Wendouree House and saw the great appeal in the variation in colours,” comments Eve Edwards, Architect, Alison Dodds Architect.
The choice of this particular Krause brick was not only for its simplicity and low maintenance, but also for its “playful chameleon-like appearance that adjusts with the changing light of the day”, using it on the façade of both the new extension and the garage.
Alison continues, “The Krause bricks just have that bit of warmth to them that makes them special. They’re beautiful on the façade and provide a great colour variation. And they create that lovely connection to the red brick on the front of the house.”
But more than that, Glassford Residence is a perfect example of the brick’s versatility and how a traditional brick can be used creatively in a cutting edge, contemporary design. “Architects and designers are really celebrating bricks these days, showing ingenuity and creativity with the basic traditional 230mm size, using them in innovative ways, knowing that there’s flexibility and manipulation possible using that traditional building block,” says Eve.
“Robertson’s Building Products were very accommodating. We had several site visits because we required a portion of bricks to be cut on various angles. So, each of the corners at the ground level has custom cut angled bricks; one was 72 degrees and the other 108 degrees; and those corners are quite beautifully detailed,” continues Eve.
Glassford Residence is a quintessential success story. From the clients who were a dream to work with, to the architects and building contractor who redefined the true definition of teamwork to bring the outside in and create a stunning contemporary design that will delight a very happy family for years to come.
Architects: Alison Dodds Architect
Landscape Architects: Ben Scott Garden Design
Product: Krause Grampian Blue bricks, 230 x 110 x 76mm
Builder: Clancy Constructions
Photographer: Alex Reinders