Architecture AU "Living alfresco: Bath House"
Kerry & Sue came to us with a wonderful old "Queenslander", in very good and original condition, set in a beautiful and well established garden, but with a less than ideal mid twentieth century amenities extension to the rear of the original building which provided an awkward barrier between the house and garden.
They had hoped to construct a deck upon which they could spread to enjoy the garden, however, it was evident from the outset that the existing amenities would require rearrangement as part of the project.
We felt that the existing building should remain unaltered and that the garden should be retained as much as possible. The new work should be sympathetic to the existing, but at the same time provide a clear contrast.
Townsville's climate is hot and humid. Wet areas need to be well ventilated. It is unusual, however, for a bathroom to be external despite the fact that this is climatically an excellent response.
The new extension interpolates the synergies between the two functional requirements (deck and bathroom) by providing a singular structural response. The structural system favours that typical of a verandah with a decking floor, a covering roof and no external walls, In imposing this upon the new amenities, it thereby reinvents the archetypal bathroom into a completely outdoor but undercover facility Privacy concerns have been resolved through the careful placement of screening walls and framed views. Security Issues settled through the inclusion of a rear door and non climbable walls to unreachable heights.
As a result of the larger extension works, some rearrangement of the kitchen was required, including the opening of the wall onto the new verandah and the construction of a new pantry. These aspects were carefully undertaken to sympathetically attach to the original house.
Under the extension, a sunken outdoor lounge (with appropriate head height) has been incorporated to the lower level. This space provides an alternative experience of outlook to the garden, but also an alternative experience to the generic "underhouse" space of the original building, which remains utilised as typical for laundry, carport, workshop, etc.