The Lantern House extension is a project to re-energise the rear of a double storey Victorian house located in Melbourne’s quiet inner-city suburbia. The extension replaced the original oversized alfresco with a traditional roofline design with an inviting and high functioning indoor and outdoor space that blends seamlessly into the main house and garden. The kitchen area was extended to create a new indoor dining space complete with a gas fireplace, which in turn flows into a reimagined outdoor lounge and kitchen area with a built-in BBQ, perfect for entertaining.
The extension is built along the northern boundary of the site, a position that receives limited direct sunlight. To invite more natural light into the extension, a section of the ceiling was raised to create an elevated box with translucent walls, akin to a large skylight. Made of a translucent polycarbonate material, the upper walls softly filter and diffuse light that enters the space. From the exterior, the upper volume of the extension takes on a lantern-like appearance.
The project has a specific emphasis on the connection between indoor and outdoor living. The intention is to create a sense of ambiguity between indoor and outdoor spaces. Large glazed openings and continuity of material throughout the extension contribute to achieving this design outcome. The raised “lantern” follows through from the dining area into the outdoor lounge to create an uniform sense of spatial quality.