Little Loft House

Light House Architecture and Science

The Little Loft House is a rejection of the ‘disposable’ mindset by breathing new life into a home that many would consider ripe for a ‘knock-down/rebuild’. What was an old, cold, unappealing and dysfunctional house is now a joyous, comfortable, energy and space efficient, multi-functional home with flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the family.

The brief included quite a list of requirements: two dedicated bedrooms, a craft/work room, guest room, place for study/work, space for bookshelves, good sized kitchen with plenty of bench space, under bench storage and pantry space, an additional toilet, a laundry/wet area with storage space for gardening clothes, raincoats and the chest freezer, more storage for clothes in the main bedroom and some big cupboards for suitcases, spare doonas, wine, archive boxes.

Working mainly within the original footprint, the existing external walls, roof and slab were all largely retained, as were some internal walls. The floor plan was rejigged and extended by just 13 square metres to create a new family home of just 136 square metres, with more functional space and better connection to the outdoors. The home includes recycled timber, salvaged bricks and pavers, and new materials were chosen for their durability and thermal properties, to allow for a lighter footprint over a longer lifetime.

Little Loft House is now an all-electric home that requires very little mechanical heating and cooling. Actual total energy consumption has dropped by 69% and comfort levels have been massively improved. It is 47 per cent smaller and uses 80 per cent less energy than the average new Canberra home.

Photography by Ben Wrigley.