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By replacing a hipped roof with a curved roof, this commercial garage was transformed into a large family home

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Commercial buildings can translate into some of the most interesting houses, especially in a predominantly residential street. But there is a fine line between honouring the integrity of the original design and creating a home that will cater for today's family.

This former post office garage is located in a heritage zone. To facilitate its renovation into five-bedroom home, architect Lloyd Macomber worked within strict planning regulations.

Many aspects of the original building – including the garage doors and the glass block windows facing the street – were retained, however the corrugated asbestos roof was removed.

In its place is an upper storey with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open plan space incorporating the kitchen, dining and living areas.

The curved shape of the roof enabled Macomber to maximise the size of the upstairs rooms. Visual interest and practicality are enhanced by the addition of a secondary curved roof to the north, with small windows dotted along the side elevation. These allow natural light and ventilation into three rooms.

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The roof's curvature also provides an interesting contrast to the traditional profile of the original building. Macomber highlighted the difference between old and new by painting the upper storey dark brown and using aluminium joinery.

"The light metal roofs and the timber framed construction combine to create a lighter, more nimble aesthetic – a counterpoint to the heavy structure below."

First published date: 12 January 2005

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Credit List

Architect Lloyd Macomber, AERB, Salmond Reed Architects
Builder John McGregor
Cladding Timber weatherboards and stucco
Roof Titanium Colorsteel, Nuraply Membrane in Napa installed by Gunac Central
Window joinery Aluminium