Calithornbury Bungalow

Completed 2012


This project maximises natural light to a south facing extension, while strategically extending the rear of the existing house to mesh with the existing house. A double glazed outlook maximises a large yard outlook, while minimising overlooking from neighbouring flats.


This is an extension to a double fronted Californian Bungalow which reuses salvaged materials from the demolition works in an extensive renovation and extension comprising new bathroom, study, kitchen, dining, living, laundry, passage, main bedroom with ensuite, along with external decking under a timber canopy structure, providing a substrate for a grapevine. The roof space has also been converted into a substantial storage loft, with the existing diamond shaped gable vent converted to a window.


A comprehensive schedule for potential items for reuse in the works was carried out, identifying Baltic Pine flooring and wall panelling, bricks, timber rafters, beams, weatherboards, windows, fittings, cornices, skirtings, architraves, cabinetry and doors, the majority of which was proposed for reuse.

The new arrangement of forms, rooms and spaces responded to the owner's brief to accommodate a new family, working with the existing house, maximising natural lighting and the aspect to the productive rear garden, while providing a sense of privacy from the neighbouring block of flats.


Sustainable strategies:
To increase the home's thermal mass by insulating the existing & new home's floors, walls and ceilings reducing the home's reliance on energy use through mechanical heating and cooling.
Maximising natural, passive daylighting.
New glazing (vertical and horizontal) is double glazed with Low E glass 
Ceiling fans and cross ventilation provided
LED lighting
Recycled materials and in some cases fittings
Large 14,000L under deck concrete rain tank to supplement an existing 9,000L tank, allowing the occupants to water a large herb and vegetable garden.


Photos by Matthew Mallett

From the owners

Ben and his team have done an amazing job transforming the rear of our Californian Bungalow into a modern family home. Our brief to create a modern interpretation of the the Cal Bung was achieved beyond our expectations respecting the integrity of the original home. Ben managed the project from project concepts through to delivery on the ground. 

When we met Ben we knew he would listen to our ideas but also challenge us to think about different options in a collaborative manner. This is exactly what we wanted and why we chose to use an architect. He also understood what our needs might be as our family grew and our needs changed. He also really listened to our brief and brought us back to that many times. He was also very aware our budget and helped us to manage that and to juggle where we would be best to spend our money. We were also really committed to reusing materials where we could and he was able to do this in our renovation. 

Ben was very responsive to our timelines. When we realised that we needed to fast track the extension due to family circumstances, Ben quickly designed a process that enabled us to condense a number of stages into one and enabled us to get the project out to tender quickly. His recommendations for products and finishes were just what we wanted and this really facilitated us fast tracking this process. It also shows he understood what we were trying to achieve. When we made product suggestions he was not an architect so set on his own vision that he couldn't cope with our suggestions. Many people have come through our house and asked us for product names based on what they have seen in our extension. 

Ben managed the building process brilliantly. He has a quiet, non confrontational way of dealing with people that kept things moving with the builder and was able to make changes on site with the builder as required. This enabled us to sit back and not worry about the building process at all. 
We are so happy with our house. The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms. Ben is a brilliant kitchen designer. Everyone makes comments on it. The colour scheme was a little bit scary on paper but we trusted Ben and it works just brilliantly. 

Overall we would highly recommend Ben and his company to manage your process. Thanks again Ben!