Lyons St is long, low horizontal addition to a large Federation-era home in central Ballarat. Arriving at a covered portico, the entry leads into a double-height interior space with a staircase leading to three upstairs bedrooms. The downstairs layout originally accommodated a small kitchen, pantry, sitting room and living area, but has been repurposed as a main bedroom, robe, ensuite and snug – minimising the need for intervention into the internal brick structure. A short hallway, flanked by small courtyards either side, marks the transition from the original house to the new plywood-lined living spaces. Detailed to conceal its structural thickness, the thin edge of the roof plane minimises the presence of the addition in the foreground – allowing the form and detailing of the original heritage structure to be read in the background. A halo of highlight windows separates the roof from the walls, and although they are narrow, the windows efficiently capture the low-angle winter sun with long shafts of direct light permeating deep into the space. Most prominently, the new living space is defined by five, 13-meter-long laminated Vic Ash beams supporting the roof plane. The beams form part of a minimal interior material palette of timber, black steel, and concrete – used with the intention of providing cohesion between structure and joinery.
Rebekah Curtis Lester
HIA Renovation/Addition Project of the Year, Winner