RESIDENTIAL CHURCH CONVERSIONContemporary Exterior, Melbourne
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22. Location: Melbourne, VictoriaDesigner: Bagnato Architecture & InteriorsFeatures: A heritage-listed, weatherboard church and a bold, rendered modern extension… a contrast that works a treat.
4. Engage a quantity surveyorIf you have never built before, you will need to hire a quantity surveyor to prepare a bill of quantities. This will be one of the most valuable documents. Here’s why: a builder will generally send out drawings and specification details to all his or her regular trades and suppliers to obtain costs, which are then used to prepare a final construction figure for the build. Most builders will have a pre-prepared cost estimate for each item and will know whether the quotes they receive are accurate, too high or too low. This allows them to adjust their price accordingly and make changes to keep the price to a particular budget. As an owner-builder you won’t have this information. A quantity surveyor can prepare a list of quantities with costs and budgets so you have a guide to work from when comparing trade and suppliers’ prices.
9. Explaining architectural historyIn our own architectural office, we had an opportunity to transform a 100-year-old timber church into a contemporary home. However, we soon discovered that to preserve history and tell a story, we had to find a way to explain the architectural history of the existing building along with the proposed new contemporary additions. Our solution was to preserve the gothic timber gable roof, restoring it back to its original condition, while proposing a contemporary gable roof adjacent that would leave no doubt as to the age of each section. The older gable was made of timber and contained architectural fretwork and eaves, while the new gable has no eaves, is smaller in proportion and devoid of detail.See more of this project
One of the other issues with matching period architecture is that modern living demands different outcomes. For example, vast walls of glass that are now so desirable for capturing sunlight and framing views are at odds with older architectural styles where windows are of much smaller proportions (due to the limitations of glass manufacturing during that period). Trying to marry those two requirements together is very tricky and is rarely successful. For that reason, you should consider the opportunities and benefits of modern architecture as a way of contrasting and highlighting the qualities of the existing building. By doing so, a new world of options opens up in terms of scale, form, materials and texture.Plan an extension that blends old and new
Understanding fees goes hand in hand with understanding what level of service you require. Do you simply need your ideas turned into professional drawings so that they can be approved for construction or do you need a full design service that may also include contract administration, where the architect deals with the builder throughout the course of the build? There are many levels of service in between and the difference in fees can be tens of thousands of dollars, so it pays to be clear on what services you require. If you are unsure of the options available, don’t hesitate to ask. Then, when you receive fee proposals, make sure they clearly articulate the services being offered and the deliverables.
DESIGNER TIP: Accent lighting will only work if it is brighter than the ambient lighting. You must have at least three times more light directed on the focal point than the light around it, so that you are fully accentuating your chosen feature. This type of lighting should have ‘hard’ edged shadows so that it creates contrast and in turn a dramatic and outstanding effect.
4. Mixing different erasDesigned by Bagnato Architects, this converted church and extension mixes past and present. For continuity, the two sections utilise angled rooflines, and while the box-like garage has a dark, understated effect, it is still a significant part of the design and is framed by two statement lights. The tones of white, metal and charcoal pop up on both sections of the house, creating an almost ethereal effect.
Using the vernacular of both residential and secular design, Bagnato connects them using a neutral form that lights up in the evening, complementing the dominant forms without competing with either of them.
1. 1892 Anglican church conversion in MelbourneThe perfect marriage of old and new, this Melbourne conversion offers open-plan living at its finest. Vast expanses of glass flood the living zones with sunlight, while a clever extension is home to extra bedrooms and a garage. A striking charcoal palette brings extra warmth and drama.
Since this is a heritage-listed building, the architects retained all the original exterior features on the church side, including the weatherboard, Gothic windows and cloverleaf vent. “To be transparent, we wanted to highlight the building, not destroy the facade,” Marie explains. A black stairwell links the church to the new modern building, which contains the master bedroom.