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House Kritzinger - House Westcliff

Residential architecture must respond to the needs of the people who live in it, at the most personal level possible.

Nestled amongst large Jacaranda trees in Westcliff, sits a heritage home built in 1925. The task brought to the architect was to adapt the heritage building to respond to the modern needs of a family of five.

The property consists of two heritage buildings; a main house and a small garden cottage. Numerous alterations and additions over the years, have cluttered the home.

As a first step, the design set out to the remove all the ad-hoc elements.

The family brief required additional garages, an expansive play room, two bedrooms and major extensions to kitchen and living spaces.

Apart from altering and reinstating the existing home, the addition provided for a particularly difficult challenge. It brought into question how a meaningful extension to a heritage structure should be considered without merely continuing within the same original language.

As a second approach, the addition never imposes itself, or perceives itself as more dominant than the original. The addition achieves this by not encroaching past the facade of the original home, and by being distinct and separate from the existing.

Volumetrically the new built attempts to be distinct, but in its materiality it aligns itself with the original home.

Internal alterations played an essential role in fully realising the adaptation from a traditional home. This involved removing internal walls, which allows for ease of flow between living spaces, inside and out.

The changes to the cottage entailed the removal of fractured additions to ensure that the original becomes clearly visible. Restrained additions are made to the cottage to ensure adaptive reuse as guest space that opens itself to the terraced gardens.