about the project
Escher House is a renovation and addition to a 1930s interwar cottage, in Canterbury’s heritage Hassett Estate.
The design retains two existing bedrooms and the formal living and dining at the front of the home. The extension accommodates a master bedroom suite, kitchen / meals, bathroom, laundry and study / home office.
The design responds to the slopping site and restricted building envelope, stipulated by the local heritage planning control. By arranging the brief over four incremental levels, the home harnesses the potential of the site and simultaneously create elements of ambiguity and delight. The intriguing play of levels and connection is reminiscent of the artwork of M.C. Escher, hence the name ‘Escher House’.
By lowering the floor level of the kitchen at the rear of the home, connection with the backyard is strengthened. The existing floor level flows through and forms both walkway and seating, around the meals table. A whimsical stair leads up to third level, accommodating a mezzanine study which overlooks the kitchen / meals area below. The forth and lowest level is tucked under the mezzanine and houses the laundry and a butler’s kitchen. The split levels allow abundant storage and surprise connections, such as a pass-through servery between the main kitchen and butler’s kitchen behind. The extension is painted brick, sympathetic to the existing brick exterior, but the form is an intentional contemporary juxtaposition to the English cottage language of the original home. While the two parts are strikingly different, they sit harmoniously together and as a result the home sits comfortably in its context and addresses its site and surrounds in a way it never did before.
Scale Constructions managed the renovation / extension of our 1930’s brick house. Matt and Jarrod, the directors, collaborated seamlessly with our architect and ourselves to ensure a quality build that started on time, finished on time and within budget.