Mont Albert B&W House

Collaboratively creating an extension

This house was the result of a collaboration between the owners, their bespoke cabinet maker and us.

Our clients, a family of four including two horticulturalists with a landscape design, construction and maintenance business, wanted to owner-build the project and selecting Cantilever Interiors as the kitchen manufacturer was the first piece to lock in.

Cantilever then recommended the clients engage us to design the house. Having worked together, we had a strong working relationship and mutual design respect and a similar sensibility all of which complemented the clients.

We see this as a fantastic opportunity to design a space that would complement and accentuate all of the elements that are unique in their hand crafted locally made kitchens – the materials, detailing and environmental performance.

The addition is an elegant and compact L-shaped plan with the Kitchen at the knuckle, the Dining space to the north side opening onto an outdoor entertaining area and Living at the rear overlooking the sort of beautiful lawn that only horticulturalists have.

A raking roof lifts up over a north-facing clerestory window to bring light and warmth deep into the house. The asymmetry in this form complements that in Cantilevers balanced elevation compositions.

The restrained palette of materials is all black and white except for the plywood roof and timber windows framed in timber complementing Cantilever’s language of all monochrome surfaces except for the timber elements to be accentuated.

The raking ceiling and corner ‘bay’ window pull light in from the side and connect the occupant with the environment. As with the key elements in the cabinetry, these architectural elements are accentuated and the warm timber glows in the natural light against the backdrop of black, white and of course the horticulturalists’ green.

Photography: Tatjana Plitt