Bronte Family Home Design

Bronte Family Home Design

a newly crafted light box is seamlessly grafted to an existing Victorian cottage as a family extension


The original house was a single storey Victorian cottage in the beachside suburb of Bronte. As happens to many old houses the backyard had become a maze of badly built, ill conceived, lean-to additions. The rear of the house faces north and the lean-tos took no advantage of the potential sunshine. A single Jacaranda was the focus of family activities.

Several issues were important to Sarah and Mark; the first was to maintain as much garden space as possible for their family and the next, to maximise the amount of floor area without dramatically altering the view of the house from the street.

PWA’s strategy was to pare back the house to its original form, lift the ridge line and add a large rear dormer that extends to the ground. The cottage character of the front of the house was maintained while completely opening the house to winter sun, the garden and the Jacaranda tree.

Summer sun and privacy were controlled in two ways. The Jacaranda tree was a natural solution, and in addition to this, an exquisite timber box was attached to the rear of the house, framing the tree and garden, while controlling light and privacy.

Grafting the light box on to this Victorian cottage opens the house to the sun and the garden, maximising the potential of the site and creating spaces that the family can truly feel at home in.