Waka Waka Waka Northcote

Completed over two stages for two separate groups of owners, this Northcote project comprised:




Stage 1

Northcote Music Studio and Extension. The owners' brief called for a 'multi-purpose' space for various incarnations such as for use as a professional music studio, reception room, guest bedroom, study & family room along with new bathroom and laundry spaces. Given the design brief, the spaces needed to work on a number of functional levels while working with and enhancing the existing house.


Initial studies of the site revealed nearby “All Nations" park's strong diagonal axis formed along its primary pedestrian pathway. The extension of this axial line to the south east passes right through this project site. Taking cues from the owners’ brief along with this theoretical axial line, the placement the spaces work with an angled internal 'piano wall' informed by the All Nation's axial line, allowing the piano to be played facing the axis.


The existing home had a well-worn 'lean to' laundry & toilet which was replaced with a new laundry with its messy bits and a guest bathroom hidden behind timber cupboards allowing the space adjacent to open up the living area of the house while providing a secondary link to the space to the yard and studio. This strategy of utilising the extra laundry space as transition and living spaces allowed the new works to increase the space and amenity of the existing home without increasing the footprint and cost of the extension.


The studio has high thermal and acoustic properties, and comprises a materials palette of fanned rendered wall with a high R rating, recycled ‘Northcote Red’ bricks, sustainable plantation Karri hardwood and Oriented Strand Board.


Photos by Matthew Mallett



From the (stage 1) Owners:

We engaged Ben Statkus of Statkus Architecture to design and project manage a renovation and studio extension on our 1920s weatherboard house in 2009.

The brief was to design a stand alone studio in our backyard with two rooms, one of which could be used as a music studio and the other as a study/spare room. We also wanted the existing laundry in the main part of the house renovated and the studio and old part of the house tied together in some way.

Ben came up with a design that more than met this brief. His design was modern and exciting and it has opened up our house considerably. The stand alone studio has become a great feature of our house whilst still maintaining a link with the 1920s original house through the use of a deck and pergola. Visitors who come to our house always comment on how interesting the design is and how fantastic it all looks.

We found Ben to be very dedicated to coming up with a design that would suit us and our needs. He was very thorough and easy to work with as we discussed the design as it progressed. 

Stage 2

This extensive house renovation & extension stage completed in February 2017  tied in with the previous extension & studio project we originally completed in 2009 for the former owners.

This second stage of the project included the reconfiguration of the hall & living connection with a new bathroom, with the extension comprising new kitchen, dining, living and outdoor area. 


Photos by Matthew Mallett