Inside a sensitive renovation of a former Mr Fluffy house in Ainslie

Kim J. Clark

Who: Architects Sans-Arc Studio, with builders MegaFlora Team

What: A new develop on a former Mr Fluffy block, adhering to rigorous heritage pointers

Where: Ainslie


Creating on a Mr Fluffy block typically gives the luxury of remaining in a position to begin totally from scratch a blank slate to develop a new chapter in the block’s historical past. That is, until you materialize to buy a block in just one of Canberra’s strictly managed heritage precincts. 

When the new entrepreneurs purchased this Mr Fluffy block inside Ainslie’s Wakefield Gardens precinct, they weren’t in a position to allow their imaginations operate wild.

Rather, heritage rules said they were being limited to a 127-square-metre footprint, precisely the similar as the authentic house, and had to make the exterior, road-experiencing facade nearly similar to its predecessor.

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Team Photograph: Anne Stroud

“We had really optimistic hopes for undertaking a fashionable interpretation,” says Matiya Marovich, director at Sans-Arc Studio who was tasked with the new layout, “but the architectural language had to be precisely the same”.

The 127-square-metre ruling was a massive request for the home’s a few bedrooms, two loos and open up-plan residing spaces. But in a intelligent transfer, the addition of a central, inner courtyard floods the dwelling with mild, raises air flow and makes it possible for far more place.

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Group Photo: Anne Stroud

“The true occupiable inside place experienced to be 127 sq. metres, which is incredibly small for a modern Australian house,” says Marovich.

“Being ready to introduce a courtyard intended that [that external space] was not involved in the determine, so we could creep back again the home a minimal bit.”

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Group Photograph: Anne Stroud

While the home’s external visual appeal experienced to be a great deal the same as its predecessor – white-painted bricks, terracotta-tiled roof, and an arched entrance – they could physical exercise comprehensive imaginative regulate in excess of the interior.

The smaller sized footprint intended additional concentration, and finances was channelled into the internal inclusions.

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Group Photograph: Anne Stroud

“The inside moves are the hero of the create, truly, for the reason that the outside’s so strictly controlled by heritage. It is playful and unique but it is not ostentatious and in excess of the major. It’s even now acquired a level of refinement,” suggests Daniel Fitzpatrick, from nearby boutique builders MegaFlora Group.

With place at a top quality, really hard perform is required by the joinery, this kind of as the big Fibonacci kitchen area benchtop, which extends into a curved timber eating desk.

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Team Photograph: Anne Stroud

Out the again, a Canberra crimson-brick plinth doubles as an al fresco seating location, and a move to floor degree. The recycled timber flooring and cedar windows tie it all back again to the exterior style and design. 

Fitzpatrick claims it’s a perfect lesson in not creating bigger for the sake of it, but developing smarter and greater high-quality rather.

Ainslie Heritage by Sans-Arc Studio with builders MegaFlora Team Picture: Anne Stroud

“I’ve taken clients to demonstrate them this household, and check with: do you truly want to develop more substantial, or do you just want to construct nicer?” he says.

“This house performs so very well, mainly because it’s small, and the funds has been used on the detailing and joinery fairly than introducing another total place.”

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