Other Architects updates a historic Australian bungalow with a patchwork of additions

Subtle Stitching

Located on Gundungurra land in the Southern Highlands of Australia’s New South Wales is a century-old bungalow that recently underwent a sensitive renovation. The owners of the quaint, burnt orange-roofed structure hired local firm Other Architects to update the bungalow while maintaining the characteristics of the home. In addition to the upgrades, the family also requested a new writing studio, a private master suite, and to expand the interior footprint of the communal living space. The overall goal: design new elements to seamlessly coexist with the already historic bungalow.

sliding doors on bungalow
New sliding doors open views to the garden and sit within the line of the existing fascia and posts (Hamish McIntosh)

“Australian architectural renovations tend to emphasize the divide between old and new,” said the firm in a project description. Taking this into consideration, both the home owners and Other Architects were strategic with the renovation. Through a subtle patchwork of new additions the architects avoided visible divides.

the living space opens out to a large sun porch by Other Architects
The veranda now functions as a porch, a sun room, a sewing and music room, a walk-in-robe, and a bathing space (Hamish McIntosh)

The approach limits subtraction and thus waste. As Other Architects noted on its website, “Amidst an endless churn of demolition and construction, we believe that one of the most important roles for architects is to advocate for the value and usefulness of what already exists.”

pale green kitchen cabinets
The kitchen features a timeworn ceramic sink, a new refrigerator, and a vintage butcher’s block (Hamish McIntosh)

In the interior, only two walls were removed to expand the communal living space for the family. This shift replaced a bathroom and study to expand the living room and dining space across the entire west side of the house, providing a more open feel.

Entering through the veranda provides increased privacy to the primary bedroom (Hamish McIntosh)

pink tile in bathroom
Salvaged surplus tiles were used to create patchwork designs in the bedroom-turned-bathroom (Hamish McIntosh)

This renovation enabled more natural light from the connected veranda to seep into the space, making it warm and inviting. The new airy aesthetic is complemented by soft sage green countertops and pantry in the kitchen and the subdued pastel tilework in the nearby bathroom. The quiet base offers a calming background to the textured wooden floors and the bold contemporary works of art.

skylights inside the house
Small rectangular skylights lighten up the interior (Hamish McIntosh)

blue tile in bathroom
Blue tiled partitions create a shower space, separate from the standalone tub (Hamish McIntosh)

The most prominent changes are the two small pavilions also sited on the property. A wood path links the writing studio, a separate structure, to the bungalow. This separation allows for a private, quiet area for the writer to work from home.

steel pavilion renovated by Other Architects
The new pavilions are prefabricated in lightweight steel, placed carefully to minimize intervention in the garden (Hamish McIntosh)

Other Architects renovated a bungalow
The new structures complement the scale and size of the original (Hamish McIntosh)

Remaining on the western side of the property, the master suite is located diagonally opposite of the primary structure. The two small additions are encased in white painted prefabricated lightweight steel. The textured facade and geometric windows add playful notes to the already unpretentious structures. What makes both of them unique is that these additions seem to be designed around distinct views of the garden—as though to capture the outdoors in two large picture frames.

small window by Other Architects
Quirky moments pepper the interior, like the small portal close to the ground (Hamish McIntosh)

The new primary bedroom in the pavilion ensures views of the garden (Hamish McIntosh)

When describing its work ethic, Other Architects noted in its website bio, “We understand that architecture is a process, not a product.” For this effort, the design team harmoniously incorporated all existing elements and traits of the historic bungalow while tying in the new additions. This careful consideration not only enhanced the original fabric of the home, but it also improved the bungalow’s passive environmental performance, increasing insulation, ventilation, daylight, and solar power.