Family home upgraded with solar power, extra space and secret rooms
Austin Maynard Architects produces some of the most interesting house extensions around, like the Cut Paw Paw House, and Dorman House, for example. Grant House is similarly ambitious and sees the firm upgrade an aging family home by adding more living space, improving its sustainability and creating a couple of hidden rooms.
Grant House is located in Melbourne, Australia, and extends a single-story home that Austin Maynard Architects says had a poorly-designed layout dating back to a 1980s-era renovation. The firm decided to add another two-story building at the rear and created a new side entrance too. This is very secure and imposing-looking by design, as the owners previously had a break-in.
The old part of the house has now become the teenage son's. He has his own bedroom, living room and bathroom, so it should continue to be a useful space for him even as he grows into adulthood. It also has some fun additions.
"In the old part of the house the teenagers bedroom took advantage of the high ceiling with a suspended platform bed space and a lounging net," says Austin Maynard Architects. "Above the bed a hatch leads up to a secret ply-lined roof space, a whole secret room his parent will likely never visit. Exactly what a young teenager needs?"
The new two-story addition at the rear of the old home is light-filled and open. The upstairs is taken up by the parents' room, a lounge area with a mezzanine reading platform, and a bathroom. The downstairs consists of a living room, dining room and kitchen, while a large deck is also installed outside.
In a novel touch, a section of the kitchen's island rolls along tracks to reveal a hidden cellar that's accessed by ladder.
"In the initial brief the owner asked for a basement," adds the firm. "On a narrow site, stairs take up valuable floor area. A creative solution was to hide the entrance to the cellar in the floor, under the sliding island bench. Like a train carriage, the storage section of the island bench rolls along tracks to extend the bench when the cellar is not in use, or nestle beneath when access is required. The cellar is completely hidden and secret, unless you are actually using it. A perforated aluminum sheet can be used over the entrance for safety and ventilation."
Quite a bit of work has gone into making Grant House more energy efficient. Low-maintenance materials were used where possible and high-performance insulation is installed throughout. Additionally, solar panels reduce grid-based electricity usage and rainwater is stored and used to flush toilets and irrigate the garden.
Source: Austin Maynard Architects