David and Bec Smith had a clear vision for their home renovation in Sydney’s Drummoyne. They were dreaming of an ultra-contemporary house with a striking architectural extension. The extension would overlook a backyard retreat with plenty of room for their young family to play and unwind. At the same time, they needed to respect the area’s history. So, they planned to give the front of the house a modern renovation, while keeping within the bounds of the heritage requirement.
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
That is, until a letter from the original builders fell out from behind an architrave – stopping the renovation in its tracks. The letter read:
“This building was erected by M. M. Haiges.
Carpenter James Haston
Plasterers Thomas Smart & Henry Glossip
Painter M. Swan
Remember us all whoever finds this. 1902.”
It was a message in a bottle – or, rather, a wall – that they couldn’t bear to ignore. Suddenly, preserving the 114-year-old building became crucial to the renovation of the front of the house.
Building on Success
The cladding carefully adjoins the original brickwork creating a dynamic contrast that signifies the juxtaposition between old and new, while the dramatic floating second level extension is precisely engineered and well detailed. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom extension is cantilevered over the pool and outdoor living area, offering shade and weather protection as well as a modern visual impact.
The Axon Cladding, with 400mm groove spacing, is painted in Dulux Stepney grey and features a subtle vertical groove reminiscent of vertical joint timber. While Axon comes in a range of profiles including Axon Cladding Smooth 133m and Axon Cladding Grained 133m, the wider, smoother profile works with the geometric look of the home, synonymous with modern, minimalist design.
It cleverly hides the roofline and solar panels, giving the modern section its clean lines and angles in keeping with the ‘boxy-house’ trend. And, because Axon Cladding is made from 9mm thick premium fibre cement, it’s extremely durable and weathers well, which makes it a low-maintenance option for the Smiths.
It’s All in The Details
Kane worked with Bec on an interior design that works seamlessly throughout the house. The grey and white colour palette is interrupted by beautiful black fittings, a very contemporary design trend. It works well because the fittings in the old part of the house are black copper, while in the modern part of the house they’re contemporary black powder-coated metal.
The humble heritage facade of this Drummoyne cottage hides an amazing contemporary home that offers Bec and David not just a house, but a home that they can raise their family in. It’s quality workmanship that David and Bec Smith, with their builder Kane Harrison, should be remembered for in the next century. Hopefully they’ve hidden a note behind a cornice.
Extension Fact File:
Axon cladding 400mm groove spacing
Exterior paint colour: Dulux Stepney grey
Builder: Kane Harrison