The location and setting posed particular design challenges. To avoid dominating the existing structure or interfering with its relationship to the river, the extension is set as far back as the plot would allow and its height carefully considered. The ground floor level is set half a metre into the ground, the deepest the water table would let us go, enabling the provision of an extra floor. From the outside, the three-storey steel-frame extension appears to be two storey, just like its neighbour. This effect is helped by the timber trellis that forms part of the cladding.
Despite appearances, the new work is free-standing, with no structural connection to the existing building. The two structures are timber clad, with matching gable pitches and corrugated iron roofs. The new roof closely overhangs the old but doesn’t touch it.
Boat storage occupies the ground floor, with multi-functional spaces on the two floors above. Disabled access is via a lift housed in the tower at the rear. A main feature of the interior is a void space that connects the inside with the outside, creating a verandah-like effect.
As the ground floor boat storage area is necessarily limited in size, we designed a ‘compacting’ boat racking system to store the rowing shells efficiently.
AIA (Victoria) Architecture Award 2012 : Public Architecture : alterations and additions
Share this page