Taken at a glance from its suburban streetscape, Carthona House could be two neighbouring abodes; a humble red brick heritage home and a contemporary black box standing side by side yet worlds apart, in character and expression. When in fact, the dual forms – one part heritage Australian federation bungalow; one part contemporary nod to Brazilian modernism – consummate as one whole house. The latter volume is a modern and elemental recent addition to the former, by Daniel Boddam Studio.
The clients engaged the eponymous studio of Sydney/Byron Bay based architect-designer Daniel Boddam to realise a breathable, light-filled and well-crafted addition to a humble, Federation-era red brick bungalow.
The brief specs fit the description of your typical residential Australian alterations and additions project, seeking extended living space with a seamless flow between indoors and out. Meanwhile, the project’s more obscure design objectives included maximising the clients’ lifestyles; maintaining a sense of comfort; ease and flexibility conducive to family life; and a sympathetic approach that respects the historic legacy of the house.
Daniel’s curiosity in the dualities of form inspired a ‘complement by contrast’ approach between old and new. The traditional qualities of the Federation-style frontage are boldly juxtaposed by the striking blackened silhouette of the extension.
As incongruous as the old and new aspects of Carthona House appear on the façade, the interiors are quite the contrary. The principal living spaces embrace a warm and relaxed tone. Luxe and hand-crafted materials come together with expressed bagged brick walls and charred timber cladding offset by the crisp articulation of a honed marble and matte lacquered cabinetry. Relaxed furnishings, combining Australian and iconic European pieces, harmonise with the clients’ coveted collection of art and objects.
Upstairs, a private sanctuary offers district and city views, with operable Yakisugi charred screens opening the interior to the elements. The garage roof is topped with a pebbled succulent garden, creating a pleasant outlook from the master suite and encouraging wildlife to interact with the architecture.
Throughout, spaces are thoughtfully composed to celebrate the elemental experiences of living, bathing, dressing and sleeping. While the palette is intentionally restrained, subtle nuances create curious moments of grain and tactility, with a focus on the hand-crafted and artisanal.
Informed by Brazilian modernist architecture, with which the client has a deep connection, “the extension has been designed as a crafted lantern”, says Daniel. “The façades open and close as breathable skins allowing for sunlight or shadows, privacy or connection”. Open volumes and voids allow dappled, dancing light to be cast through the interior, tethering the experience of home to natural circadian rhythms; a poetic and resonant quality.