A single family house (built in the 80’s) in a partial state of abandonment is acquired by a new owner, who demands a new functionality and aesthetic for his family’s soon to be new home. The brief was to open plan spaces with an improved relationship to the garden, and a kitchen that could be enjoyed as a social space. Located in Moratuwa; this renovated home is simultaneously sophisticated and cozy; offering a homely retreat with the comforts of contemporary innovation. The design intent was to capture the translucent and independent spirit and way of life of the clients through the essence of the existing and designed built space and landscape. The original house was designed to accommodate a family of four and a maid; the new configuration needed to contain a family of five, a guest area and covered parking for two vehicles ect. The challenge posed by the additions and alterations design to the house was to multiply the built floor area while maintaining a generous garden space.
It can be difficult to merge the different architectural concepts of the 1980s enclosure and contemporary disclosure without resulting in an incongruent aesthetic. In this case the architects managed to do exactly that; by reinventing the built form with a light-weight expansion. The new additions to the existing reinforced concrete structure were of structural steel, glass and timber fenestration; with the intension of differentiating the new from the existing part of the house by the visual weight of materials.
The transformation of this house saw the total living area expanded. The layout was adjusted to make the space more open plan and social; making the garden an extension of the living space perfect for entertaining friends and family.
The most notorious modification occurs in the addition of a previously non-existent double height volume with a glass envelope that favors the reading of spatial continuity; connecting the living with the garden. The reading of the form and its blocks is done through the volumetry expressed in the extended roof and façade.
Works included the demolition of the poor quality staircase and original rear rooms at both ground and first floors. The bespoke steel and timber staircase, not only solves the vertical link between the new and the old / the common areas and private areas, but also allows the entry of natural light into the living, redefining the character and appropriation of it.
The kitchen with its state of the art finishes and modern equipment is the perfect fusion of form and function. The open plan kitchen location adjacent to the dining and the ample kitchen island allow for unobstructed circulation and space for friends and family to gather around to prepare meals.
A simple but significant glass and timber façade wraps the extended corner of the house offering a contemporary feel on the exterior while thoughtfully placed glass and timber panels, screens and blinds ensure an abundance of natural morning light flood the interior with light and shadow.
Beautiful timber battens lining the east face of the glassing, framed by a sleek steel structure, rendered in black; screen the morning sun and offer privacy.
The dinging opens out to a timber deck making space for an outdoor dining table. Large openings and neutral colours are combined with the natural timber elements as well as giving importance to vegetation create a light and airy living space.
The more intimate areas of the home; such as the bedrooms and bathrooms, were contained in a more solid block of the house to ensure privacy. While the social areas such as living, dining and kitchen are located in a more open and exposed area of the home that is connected to the exterior.
The new home stands in stunning contrast nestled in its designed landscape to the built form previously occupying the flat level premises.
Architects: Gihan Iroshana Muthugala | Nilooshi Eleperuma
Structural Engineer : Wasantha Pushpa Kumara
Photography : Madhushan Indika de Silva , Architecture and Interior Photography Sri Lanka