David and Bec Smith had a clear vision for the ultra-contemporary home renovation. It was of a modern architectural extension overlooking a backyard paradise for their young family.
They planned to give the front of the house a modern renovation within the bounds of the heritage requirement. That was until a letter from the original builders fell out from behind an architrave stopping the renovation in its tracks. The letter said:
“This building was erected by M. M. Haiges.
Carpenter James Haston
Plasterers Thomas Smart & Henry Glossip
Painter M. Swan
Remember us all whoever finds this. 1902”
Suddenly, preserving the 114 year old building became crucial to the renovation of the front of the house.
The rear was a completely different story. Bec had been collecting pictures of cantilevered looks from magazines. David loved the look of James Hardie’s Axon vertical groove cladding. As a result their vision for a contemporary “floating box” was conceived.
They imagined walking down the polished timber hallway of the old home, with its high ceilings, restored rosettes and arches, and then into an Alice in Wonderland experience that transforms into slick, minimalist, modern addition which opens up into a light-filled open-plan living area.
Thanks to their builder, Kane Harrison, this vision was executed with elegance and attention to detail that would’ve made the original builders proud.
Kane says “you want to have a story that goes through the house” and he created that story with the materials he used. While doing the ground works he removed some sandstone blocks. Believing the light coloured Sydney sandstone was too beautiful to waste, and most likely sourced from Sydney’s Centennial Park in the late 1800s, Kane insisted that they become the feature wall in the addition to link old and new. Nestled between the down lights and polished concrete floor the wall is stunning.
Contrasting the original brickwork, the dramatic floating second level extension is precisely engineered and well detailed. The Axon cladding, with 400mm groove spacing, is painted in Dulux Stepney grey features a subtle vertical groove reminiscent of vertical joint timber. It hides the roofline and a myriad of solar panels. The 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom extension is cantilevered over the pool and outdoor living area offering shade and weather protection.
Kane worked with Bec on an interior design which works seamlessly throughout the house. The grey and white colour palette is pleasantly interrupted by beautiful black fittings, a very contemporary design trend. It works well because the fittings in the old part of the house are black copper, while in the modern part of the house they’re contemporary black powder-coated metal.
The humble heritage facade of this Drummoyne cottage hides an amazing contemporary home that offers its occupants a highly enjoyable lifestyle and quality workmanship that David and Bec Smith, with their builder Kane Harrison, should be remembered for in the next century. Hopefully they’ve hidden a note behind a cornice.
This design was completed with Axon cladding in the smooth, 400mm wide style.
From city to country, sleek to classic, cladding and weatherboards create a variety of looks that add texture, depth and individuality to a home’s design.
Axon cladding creates a beautiful uniform surface. The vertically grooved panels are a design highlight for any modern family home or inner city apartment. Balance the look with eye-catching plants or plush outdoor couches.
The vertical grooves provide a detail reminiscent of vertical joint timber panelling. The provide attention to detail in small spaces and break up large walls.
Axon cladding is available in 3 styles:
- Axon cladding smooth 400mm. Ideal for large walls. The sheets have a smooth texture and the vertical grooves are spaced 400mm apart.
- Axon cladding smooth 133mm. For sharp clean lines. A smooth textured sheet with grooves spaced 133mm apart as if the wall was made from tongue and groove timber.
- Axon cladding grained 133mm. A wood grain texture with grooves spaced 133mm apart like coarsely milled tongue and groove timber.
These cladding products are made from 9mm thick premium fibre cement. It’s extremely durable and weathers well. So when correctly installed, you can rest easy knowing maintenance will be minimal.
Axon cladding sheets come in 1,200mm widths with a shiplap joint on the long edge to make joins look just like the vertical grooves to make sheet joins unnoticeable. Sheets come in 3 heights to suit common wall sizes 2,450, 2,750 and 3,000 lengths.
Modern and contemporary designs most likely feature a minimalist design, lacking any unnecessary and purely decorative features. The most popular shapes are geometric ones and cube shaped houses are frequently found around the world.
Cube shaped houses have a very simple appearance. The minimalist facades will also be reflected inside with a simple mood and décor. Large or oversized windows are also common.
Box type designs are achieved by having a flat roof or a roof with a gentle fall hidden by a parapet wall. In multi-storey cube houses the upper levels are done in a contrasting material and offset in order to look separate or placed on top of the lower level. The more contrasting, offset or even floating, via a cantilever, the more interesting and architectural the design can appear.
Kane Harrison’s building company is called Evolving Construction based on the Central Coast of NSW. The company specialises in building high-end environmentally sustainable housing throughout NSW.
They won the house of the year in the 2016 Master Builders Association Excellence in Housing Awards.
Kane works closely with client to listen to their ideas and then develop solutions to make their dreams a reality executed with the highest quality tradesmanship.