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Major renovation reshuffles rear of home and opens up the front of the house to views

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A new pavilion forms part of the renovation of this lakeside home, while expansive verandahs increase indoor-outdoor living areas

Major renovation reshuffles rear of home and opens up the front of the house to views Discover this article's resources 0


Modern architecture's about much more than just having the most glass to access the broadest views. Much as a painting is enhanced by its frame, so too do the lines of a home set off its scenic outlooks.

This renovation features walls of glass in the fully reinvented section of the home but the terrace wall beyond provides scale and perspective to the idyllic lake setting.

Undertaken by architect Tom Rowe, this major home transformation was a game of two halves. The rear section of the home – a surveyor's cottage in another life – was partially retained, with rooms reshuffled to create a new kitchen, dining areas and bedrooms. This was clad afresh in Italian travertine stone and a brand new traditional sloping roof was introduced.

However, the front section of the home has been spectacularly reinvented.

"Together with the new kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, and redeveloping the existing basement, the owners wanted a new expansive lounge pavilion and terrace to maximise the setting," says Rowe.


"To achieve this, we first stripped out the existing front section of the residence, which was a few steps up from the rear half, and rebuilt from the floor up."

In contrast to the sloping rear roof, Rowe introduced a boldly contemporary flat roof on the front pavilion. The lounge area is much like an expansive viewing gallery, having double-glazed glass walls and sliders on three sides. The sliding doors were designed to the maximum area to reduce the number of vertical lines that would have otherwise interrupted the 270° view of the picturesque lake and surrounding hills. However, with so much glass involved, additional unobtrusive structural support was required.

"We used the fireplace as a structural element with its stone facade concealing structural steel to support the glass box and provide an anchor for the roof."

While the new glass viewing lounge takes the same footprint as the old lounge, a covered terrace was built around the raised glass room which increases its sense of space and its flow out to the land.

"The stone terrace platform was created to expand the home. This has a 3.6m-high verandah roof and is open to the surroundings on three sides."

The pavilion and terraces are also clad in travertine tile, connecting them to the older part of the home. These are in a plank configuration, laid horizontally to emphasise the horizontality of the home.

On the edge of the terrace, on its high sides, a glass balustrade rises above a stone nib wall – maximising the views. The other side is balustrade-free, with the grounds built up here to meet the terrace.

First published date: 22 December 2016

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Credit List

Architect Tom Rowe, Rowe Baetens Architecture
Builder Antonio Builders
Cladding Travertine marble from Italian Stone
Roof Colorsteel, Nuralite membrane
Floors Travertine
Doors and windows Wood
Wallcoverings Gib
Paint Resene
Heating Warmington fireplace
Fireplace surround Travertine
Lighting Lighting Solutions
Terrace ceiling inserts Onyx
Furniture Outdoor dining table, travertine and onyx top
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner