Elphin House by Bryant Alsop

Elphin House is a project designed by Bryant Alsop. Sitting on a substantial block in the leafy eastern suburbs, this Victorian weatherboard home had seen better days. The Owners approached us to both renew and restore the heritage home, and extend the house to create a generous family abode that they could enjoy while also maximising the property’s future value. Photography by Jack Lovel.


The completed home comprises modern kitchen and pantry, laundry and powder room, family living, 2 children’s bedrooms and bathroom, ensuite-ed guest room, study/sitting room, and a killer main Bedroom suite with sweeping city views from both the bedroom and ensuite. Central to the brief was an outdoor entertaining zone complete with built-in BBQ, elevated deck and pool.

The site had significant fall to the rear facing western garden and had the potential for city views. In order to connect the house better to garden and outdoor spaces, the new building ‘steps’ down with the natural contours of the land. This allows for zoning of Living and Kitchen / Dining spaces, and elevated ceilings to the Living Room. The decking extends off this terraced plan, and also settles and connects into the garden via wide timber steps.

Sustainable design principles were employed to challenge the west-facing orientation. Wide, floating rooflines shelter the harsh western sun, and northern windows maximise the light into Living areas. External retractable sun-shading works on ground and upper-level windows and high energy glazing was used throughout.

Internally the material selections are light and bright and give a sense of enduring quality and a contemporary finish. This contrasts with the external timber cladding where a dark timber cladding has been utilized to provide contrast against the light-coloured Victorian timber home.

As with all our projects that extend a heritage home, it was important that we maintain the period character of the original house while maintaining a smooth transition to a contemporary addition. Both parts of the house need to respect one another and sit alongside each other harmoniously. The new works are unashamedly ‘new’ and do not look to replicate or mimic the period building.

Leave a Reply