This stunning modern extension to a double storey Victorian home in Kew boasts a seamless connection with, and sense of ambiguity between, the indoors and outdoors. What was once a largely unused and over-sized outdoor space has been thoughtfully transformed by Pitch Architecture and Developments into two of the family’s most used rooms.
A new formal dining space indoors, off the original kitchen, effortlessly extends into a smaller, yet highly functional outdoor lounge area with built in barbeque.
Built on the northern boundary, the key challenges for Bo Chu, Creative Director, Pitch Architecture and Developments would be attracting light and maximising privacy from neighbours, “to create an open, bright and airy minimalism extension that contrasted with the existing home.”
Enter the home’s new namesake, the ‘lantern’.
To encourage light into the new space an elevated box, made of translucent polycarbonate walls, was created by raising a section of the ceiling, extending across the dining area into the outdoor lounge. The upper walls softly diffuse and filter light, and give the extension a lantern-like appearance from outside.
“The reason we call it the Lantern House is that the client wanted to have high ceilings and a lot of light coming through," says Alex Chan, Business Director, Pitch Architecture and Developments. "Because the next door neighbour was a double-storey house we needed to have the roof a lot higher to let light in. So, it’s like a lantern on the existing house,” Alex explains.
A combination of refined and raw natural materials contrasts, yet harmoniously pairs, the new extension with the existing house. This includes large expanses of marble and glass inside, natural oak veneer panelling spanning the two rooms and a robust palette of concrete paving and brick tiles on the outside.
Midnight Blue Brick tiles offered the owners an aesthetic and highly practical façade solution. While toning well with the render of the existing house, and the oak on the new extension, the quality of the tiles and their unique texture give the genuine impression of traditional brick. Perhaps their added bonus for the Lantern House lay in structural and budget considerations.
“The great thing about the brick tiles is that because the tile is much lighter than traditional brick, we were able to use the original floor slab, without having additional structural reinforcement, reducing the structural complexity of the build and cost to the client,” Bo says.
Pitch Architecture and Development is renowned for its unique and well-designed projects, and Lantern House is no exception. Bo and his team are to be congratulated for delivering an invigorating extension that seamlessly blends inside and out, and genuinely adds, in Bo’s words, that special “X-factor” to the project through the lantern, which really sets it apart.
Architect: Pitch Architecture and Developments
Product: Midnight Blue brick tiles
Builder: SEED Project Group
Photographer: Ben Hosking