Adair Residence

Adair Parade, Coolbinia

In the shade of the jacaranda tree – a charming 1930s Art Deco bungalow is given new life as a sustainably designed, contemporary family home.



Set on a quiet suburban street of Coolbinia, this 1930’s Deco bungalow was the perfect candidate for restoration. The owners were a young couple with children on the way, so the original home’s compact layout was quickly becoming problematic.

We began with the best of what was already there. The magnificent jacaranda tree in the backyard became the centre of our design, which combined a ‘pavilion in the garden’ renovation concept with a careful restoration of the original home. On the ground level, we created new bedrooms and bathrooms, reinforcing and extending the hallway axis right through to the garden, with northern light brought in from high-level. On the opposite side, the walls are conceived as a face-brick ‘garden wall’, wrapping in from the low retaining wall around the alfresco area. This heavier masonry gently holds and protects the living spaces, blurring the line between inside and out. In contrast, the upper level projects out above the backyard with a zinc ‘box’ addition. Within this box, the master bedroom floats over the garden. Curtain glazing drinks in the light and brings the room right up into the boughs of the jacaranda.

With such a wonderful garden, it was important to unite the inside and outside spaces. We made use of the void spaces in transition areas – and between floors – to create a sense of continuity. Clever use of light allowed us to both bring the outside in, and to smooth the transition between old and new spaces. Small touches throughout the home – like green-glass fish scales in the bathroom and a wall of books interspersed with coloured glass tiles – create a sense of whimsy and private contemplation.

Sustainability was a crucial consideration for the renovation. Many of the home’s design features do double-time managing its heat and energy requirements. The use of orientation, thermal massing and insulation in the new bedroom and living areas earned these spaces a NatHERS rating of 8.0 stars. The zinc box form provides shade for the alfresco area, and openings are protected by eaves integrated overhangs. The west-facing glazing in particular required careful consideration, as it was important to open the house out to the rear garden without also opening it up to the scorching summer heat. We also re-used as much of original fabric as possible and carefully restored the original portions of the home, to minimise the use of new materials.

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