The space would be accessed via the formal sitting room, just off the kitchen. The clients imagined using this space to sit and have morning coffee while reading the newspaper. Or sit with a few friends and share something to eat and drink. It was never imagined to be an area where large outdoor gatherings occur. They already have this space at the west end of the house, which is a natural overflow of the main living room.
The design would be flanked by the existing architecture; the existing garage (east side) and the existing house (south side). This provided inherently good protection from much of the prevailing wind and rain to this site, however created a number of issues connecting the new and old structures back to each other. The space remains open on the other two-sides (west and north where the best quality daylight is experienced), providing a meaningful connection to outside. As a result of this configuration, the clients can comfortably enjoy the benefits of indoor-outdoor space, all year round.
The roof design provided even further protection, which afforded greater ability to enjoy this space, almost all-year-round; rain or shine. We were mindful that despite the need to keep the clients well protected from the elements, they should still be afforded ‘ample daylight’ as well. The choice of a slightly tinted translucent polycarbonate roof sheeting (as opposed to metal equivalents) allowed ‘manageable’ amounts of both light and heat to enter, while still remaining weatherproof.
The design appears quite simple, almost conventional, at first glance. The main structural components adopt conventional light timber-framed construction with a gabled ended roof, flanked on two sides by existing buildings. On closer inspection, however, the design required an incredible amount of detailed attention towards how the new building would practically connect with the existing surrounding buildings. This was achieved with a series of custom-made structural steel brackets that ‘pinched’ the new verandah roof structures back into the existing house and garage roof structures. These brackets were designed to have a minimal visual impact yet maximum stabilising effect.
We re-used the existing concrete slab, using concrete paint treatments and a stencil system, to create a crazy paving effect. This created interest and appeal from an otherwise tired and dirty old concrete slab, without spending a lot of money.