Garran house wins MBA Alterations/Additions Award ACT – over $500,000 and was a finalist in National MBA Alterations/Additions Award – over $500,000\r\n\r\nLocated on the lower slopes of Red Hill and providing spectacular views over the Woden Valley, the original house was designed in 1977. Our clients liked many aspects of it: the outlook, the generous scale of the spaces with their high, pitched ceilings, the face brickwork, the timber beams and the tiled roofs—all of which were so evocative of the era in which the house was built.\r\n\r\nBut the house had a number of problems, and did not suit their needs. The challenge for us was how to respect and retain the characteristics that our clients liked, while at the same time providing a house that was better equipped to accommodate a twenty-first century family in terms of accommodation, solar passive design and appearance. \r\n\r\nTo approach this challenge, we decided that all new work should not only respect and retain the aspects of the house that we all liked, but should actually enhance and reinforce them. Internal walls were removed to create a more open feeling, and measures to optimise sunlight, views, and cooling breezes were introduced. An existing bathroom on the northern wall of the house blocked off northern sun and potential views towards Black Mountain. For this reason the bathroom was removed, a large window was inserted into the northern wall, and this space was converted to an ‘alfresco’ room that forms a transitional space between inside and outside. Similarly, an ensuite bathroom to the main bedroom was originally located on the western side, where it blocked off views over the Woden Valley. Relocating this ensuite to the southern side opened up views from the bedroom. \r\n\r\nIn addition to opening up views, there was the question of appropriate scale. While the original living rooms were generous in proportion, the original bedrooms, bathroom and laundry were all too small by today’s standards. For this reason the bedroom wing was extended on the southern and eastern sides, allowing larger rooms and the addition of a study.
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