Twin Peaks House involved alterations and additions to an existing Edwardian house of some historical significance located in an area with a heritage overlay.

The brief revolved around accommodating a family including three children. Additions comprised three new bedrooms and activity space to the new first floor at the rear, with a large family/kitchen area directly below. Alterations to the existing house included a new master bedroom/ensuite, study and upgrading the original grand dining room and lounge areas.

The proposed design focused on a compatible yet distinctive relationship between the existing interior and external form and the new addition. This was achieved through use of common materiality, contrasting black brick for the new against red brick in the old.

The pitched external roof forms, a requirement of stringent heritage guidelines, were expressed as 'twin peaked' gable ends that aligned directly with the double valley hip roof of the existing house. The external timber clad rainscreen was defined as a one third proportion that aligns directly with the existing slate tiled roof of the existing house. While compatible in terms of proportion and alignment, the reductive abstraction of the new interior and exterior suggests a new relationship to both the immediate garden and the greater surrounding context.

Internally, the new addition uses white painted timber lining boards and exposed internal black work to define the new family living space. The use of materials normally associated with the exterior of a heritage house suggests an inversion of our normal reading of an interior that is both surprising and yet reassuring in terms of its familiarity.


Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung





Gross Floor Area:

280 sqm


Matrix Engineering Group, Addlib Design


Mista Builders Pty Ltd


Shannon McGrath