In the Melbourne suburb of Kensington, Ha Architecture and Steve Coster co-design a charred timber extension to a Victorian home.

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The brief for this compact, meticulously planned charred timber extension to a Victorian weatherboard home was to create a comfortable and sustainable contemporary addition for a family of five. Following a feasibility study, and observing the pattern of shadows, it was specifically designed to allow in more natural light by placing it on the eastern boundary and orientating its windows to the north-west.

Backyard featuring children playing

Project Type: Suburban Home

Location: Kensington, Melbourne

Architect: Ha Architecture

Photographer: Derek Swalwell


The architects kept the extension's footprint compact to minimise its impact on the back garden. However, to retain a sense of expansiveness inside, Nick created a void around the stairwell to bring light into the two levels, making an otherwise conventional addition feel generous.

Interior kitchen with an open ranch slider


With the extension now in place, the house has been turned into a series of flexible and connected spaces, both indoors and out. The new kitchen occupies a central zone as a conduit between the rest of the house and the garden, and gathering place for the family and their friends. Dark timber joinery and grey marble create a refined palette, into which the Fisher & Paykel appliances have been integrated.

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