A renovation that breathes new life into the bungalow

As busy professionals with two active boys, it was important for the owners to create a functional family home that could grow with them for many years to come, explains Melonie Bayl-Smith, director and principal architect at Bijl Architecture.

“They dreamed of a pool with a cabana, and a landscaped backyard in which to play rugby and cricket with their children and spend lots of time outside”, says Melonie. “They also wanted a comfortable place for the family to come home to, with enough space for the boys to play, and the parents to relax in their own way while being in the same space.”

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Lacuna House by Bijl Architecture | Image: Tom Ferguson

Celebrating the original fabric of the existing building while fostering a compelling connection with the new architecture was integral to the overall success of the design. Melonie explains the previous additions to the dwelling made the interiors feel dark and austere with little relationship to the outdoors.

“The clients wanted a greater connection to the outdoors, to have a lush green landscape visible, accessible and invited into the home”, Melonie explains.

Creating a seamless flow from the generous open-plan living space to the outdoors is one of the key design features of the home. The new architectural extension features a grand gesture of a soaring roofline and materials that complement the original dwelling.

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Lacuna House by Bijl Architecture | Image: Tom Ferguson

The covered outdoor entertaining space paved with Wyndam Limestone replaced the miserly patio which once stood. “The Wyndam Limestone was perfect for this project – the colour and appearance is soft and warm without being rustic, thanks to the clean cut edges of the selected pavers”, says Melonie.

The limestone extends from the patio to a poolside cabana which replaced a large garage and driveway. With the rear garden completely overshadowed by an imposing neighbouring house, a clever solution to create privacy and to expand the usage of the backyard was required without enclosing the space.

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acuna House by Bijl Architecture | Image: Tom Ferguson

“The covered outdoor patio continues to the ‘lacuna’ – the pool as the ‘in-between space’ – with the cabana, a place of escape that turns its back to the overlooking neighbours, shielding the house and garden from view”, says Melonie.

Scale, volume and proportions of the new architectural addition were carefully controlled to refocus and orient the home towards the garden. As a result, natural light was allowed to flood the interior and the flow to the outdoors was enhanced.

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Lacuna House by Bijl Architecture | Image: Tom Ferguson

This wasn’t a complete teardown of an older dwelling to make way for the new. Through considered spatial decisions and attention to detail, Bijl Architecture has enhanced the existing architecture to create a family home that accommodates modern living.

“To us, detail is a signal of thoughtfulness and care for our clients, their home as a contribution to Australian architecture, and their living environment.”