The Brief

With Victoria’s former ‘State Bank house’ California bungalows highly prized in Melbourne’s tightly held neighbourhoods, our clients were passionate about updating their Surrey Hills house without compromising the stunning garden and pool area.

They wanted bright, open living areas and a ‘future-proofed’ house that retained its historical charm. A prior extension hadn’t endured and natural light and thermal performance were poor.

The Outcome

We proposed a rear vertical extension that would retain the footprint and the garden and adhere to regulatory setbacks. We demolished the previous extension to the ground floor, keeping the sub-floor structure and the basement level. We strategically positioned the new living area to exploit abundant northern light.

Our clients are avid entertainers, so we put the kitchen at the heart of open-plan living space. This flows into the existing outdoor deck, where planting over a new pergola will offer summer shade and winter sun.

The new addition’s charcoal exterior contrasts with the lush garden and the white of the original home to clearly distinguish each form. The charcoal touch continues onto the upper addition through Colorbond and standing seam detailing, while the box-like garage keeps a low profile.

We continued this contrast internally. Period skirtings, doors, and architraves were reinstated to the original part of the house, and subtly varied wall colours and extended oak flooring throughout the ground level introduce the modern narrative.

The property’s distinct architectural forms now exist in harmony: the heritage features, the garage’s boxy modernity, and the dynamic rake of the new roof – echoed in the interior’s raked ceilings.

Continuous thermal insulation along with improved air-tightness in the original part of the house and throughout the extension increases the home’s efficiency. We also preserved the heritage windows and imported European high-performance windows for the new extension to enhance overall sustainability.

Project Type

Renovation & Extension


Modified California Bunglow


Jack Lovel

Loose Furniture

Gallerie B


Without Studio