Looking at the front of this home in Balaclava, Australia, what you’ll see is a traditional Victorian characteristic of the neighborhood, with a modest white facade, twin chimneys and a picket fence. But walk around the side and the personality of the residence swiftly shifts to a striking modern volume clad in timber slats.
Coy Yiontis Architects created an addition for the two-story home that makes no attempt to blend into the vernacular architecture, choosing instead to make a strong visual statement with wood as the primary material.
“The renovation and addition to this partly 2-story home was designed to accommodate an extended family of eight on a relatively modest site within a dense urban context,” the architects explain. “A bedroom for each of the four children, one for the parents and another possibly for grandparents, generous living spaces and a swimming pool were key to the brief.”
The old and new volumes of the home are separated by a courtyard housing the pool, each of the wings surrounding it opening to this outdoor space with expansive glazed walls. The warmth and character of the wood is brought inside as well, contrasting with smooth white surfaces.
All-wood additions have become a more common sight in suburban neighborhoods, and now, they’re popping up in urban locations, too. This modern, geometric wooden extension to a house in Paris contrasts with the more historical architecture seen next door and on much of the street. BANG architects is a single-story addition topping a two-story home to create a new central living space and terrace.
“We also opted for wood as the main construction material – in pat in order to limit the weight on the existing house, but also to have great flexibility in determining the volume of the new space, and in order to reduce the environmental impact of the construction project,” say the architects.
The addition is described as a heliotrope and was designed so that the windows look out onto the terrace and onto the classic Parisian plane trees planted along the avenue rather than into the neighboring buildings. Six meters of ceiling height are illuminated by a glass roof. The whole thing is clad in thin strips of untreated pine.
Wood facades are showing up more often in modern structures, eliminating the coldness of steel and concrete. Not only does it make these buildings feel more welcoming, it’s also more sustainable.