Austin House is a single-storey late Edwardian weatherboard villa with a terracotta tiled roof and double-fronted asymmetrical façade with return veranda. It was erected in late 1914 for accountant James Bruce Lake as the first house in the street.
The cultural significance of the existing Edwardian house is embodied in the place itself, its fabric, its setting. The site provides a deep and inspirational sense of connection to the community and landscape, starting from the past towards the lived experiences. The contemporary addition is representative for its time and creates a strong dialog with the Edwardian values, bringing a clear style demarcation between the two different centuries. While structural updates, material refurbishment and well insulating levels were achieved, the authenticity of the building fabric was fully preserved.
Heritage and high-performance aren’t mutually exclusive.
The transition from old to the new is more than skin-deep. The existing structure and addition have been merged into a highly-insulated, thermal-bridge free and increased airtight envelope made from structural insulated panels by Evissa SIPs, maintaining year-round comfortable temperatures of approximately 22 degree with minimal electricity use. Ensuring a low air exchange rate between inside and outside, triggers a significantly less need for heating or cooling.
Photography by Tom Wilkinson