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Bricks of a contrasting colour feature on this extension; their presence a solid salute to the surrounding vernacular

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A significant part of the renovation process is deciding on cladding materials. While the style of the house may dictate otherwise, the use of one solid material, such as brick, can provide a backdrop for architectural detailing.

The new extension of this small Victorian-style home is a good example. Its exterior is clad in dark brown bricks, the colour a contrast to the reddish brickwork of the existing house and a subtle point of difference between old and new, says architect Nicholas Gioia.

"Brick is a material that you could go back to in 100 years time, and despite being covered in filth and dirt, would not have degenerated in appearance."

Double glazed windows of different shapes and sizes break up the mass of brickwork at the front of the structure, each one teamed with a purpose-built sunscreen. These box-like frames are carefully designed to maximise sun and diminish shadows throughout the interior spaces in winter. In the summer they provide privacy, eliminating the need for window treatments. Intersecting vertical and horizontal glazed bands form an irregular cross on the public side of the building, providing a geometric element both on the exterior and the interior.

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First published date: 24 July 2003

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Credit List

Architect Nicholas Gioia Architects (Melbourne)
Interior design Nicholas Gioia Architects
Structural consultant Malcolm Cuthbert
Mechanical consultant McDermott Consulting Group
Landscape design Land Site
Builder Lumcorp Contractors
Bricks Medium black from Willis Bricks
Sunscreens Custom designed by Nicholas Gioia Architects featuring composite fibre cement with a steel frame