An Inspiring Renovation of a Sydney Bungalow

To undertake a house’s transformation without terminating its blueprint is no easy feat – but the Australian design firm Studio Prineas, which recently rebranded from Architecture Prineas, was well equipped for the challenge.

Tasked to rework this 1930s California-style bungalow located in Sydney’s North Shore for a family of four, the architects sought to deliver an overhaul without stripping the home of its soul and architectural character.

“We applied a black and white palette, grounded by a polished concrete floor that maximises the thermal efficiency of the new space,” says Jacqueline Lindeman of Studio Prineas. Rather than command a severity typically found in many monochromatic spaces, the minimalist aesthetic throughout the home promotes a feeling of warmth, and allows the indoors and outdoors to merge seamlessly.

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Timber furniture and accessories crafted with other natural materials soften the black and white walls, and ensure that the leafy outdoors remained a prominent feature of the space and its experience.

Foremost to the home’s transformation was the addition of space without tearing apart the existing footprint. “To maintain the bungalow and its original features, we connected an addition through a glazed link,” Jacqueline says.

But with limitations in the renovation budget, Studio Prineas was pressed to formulate a solution that wouldn’t compromise material quality, nor the client’s wishes. The result supports the oft-proposed notion that scarcity leads to creativity. “Faced with an extremely tight budget, the key challenge was designing a generous space that was also relatively simple to construct,” Jacqueline explains.

The solution came in the form of a shed-like structure that not only adhered to the constraints, but also affords the clients additional floor area that synchronises with their growing needs as a family. Apart from the original intended result, the link also created two internal courtyards that enable natural light to stream through the windows, and into the en-suite and the study.

In conceiving the rear addition, Studio Prineas considered one- and two-storey options, each comprising a series of modules based on a grid system that can easily be manipulated to allow additional light into the home’s renovated portion. The exploration drew recognition within the architectural community for Studio Prineas – it’s worth noting that the project has since become a case study for developing modular and repeatable design that allows flexibility to suit the homeowners and the site.

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When asked about the new features that bring the homeowners the most pleasure, Jacqueline concludes: “As was our client’s brief from the outset, the addition has allowed the kitchen to become the new hub of the home, around which all other domestic activity takes place.”

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A version of this article appears in our February 2019 issue, now available on newsstands. 

Photography: Chris Warnes