DATE : May 2017
LOCATION : Leabrook
SERVICES : Design & build

We viewed this project as a great opportunity to collaborate with a decisive client and express the best of our design style on a site that held all the key criteria for a very successful renovation & extension project to facilitate ideal family living from now well into the future. The family love living in this home and what it provides for themselves, friends and family and the maturing landscape will only increase this enjoyment in years to come.

The Leabrook project is an extensive renovation to the turn of the century, Sandstone fronted villa with an extension to the rear of the property to create a functional, spacious family home with entertaining areas.

The design process shows striking attention to detail combined with a mix of natural materials such as rammed-earth walling, both smooth face and rough sawn western red cedar cladding and raw cement render finish. As part of the early phase of materials selection, Urban Habitats worked with their preferred Rammed Earth Contractor, experimenting with different materials and oxides to come up with what is the very unique colour visible in the completed Rammed earth walls.

A key design outcome was to remove the dark internal room common only found within this type of home in this era. This was achieved through creating an internal courtyard, also enabling the far simpler integration of old and new built forms. It was determined to be best managed in this case by leaving the original untouched and creating a simple ‘link’ beneath the eave line to a very contemporary, flat-roofed extension area with a few floating eave details and terrific ceiling height capturing the benefit of winter warming sun, but creating shade in the harsher Summer months.

The original lean-to together with existing pergolas and shedding was removed to make way for the functional, spacious extension, rear garden and pool, along with double garaging, shed and pool plant room accessible from the rear lane way.

The rejuvenated original part of the home accommodates the formal lounge, formal dining, guest bedroom, master-suite, study and cellar. The new extension provides additional floor space for the two bedrooms, main bathroom, powder-room study, open-plan living, dining and Kitchen, along with mudroom, WC and laundry. Integrated seamlessly with the living areas is the new outdoor alfresco living and dining areas along with a BBQ area all under the steel PFC framed flat roof, all overlooking the swimming pool with spa and the landscaping.

We don’t just love our new home but were surprised at how much of the building process we enjoyed along the way.

From initial design to project handover we found Jock, Josh and their team to be a perfect blend of down to earth yet professional, with their practical advice helping to keep everything on track.
Ms. M