LATEST ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTS/ from Adelaide Architect, Warwick O' Brien

Interesting spaces

Completed: January 2014
Cost range: $250,000

The clients were passionate about organic gardening and riding bicycles to work for their own best health and the health of the planet. Needless to say an important part of the brief was that of sustainability. Their existing bungalow faces northeast and so the normal method of “tacking on” the addition to the rear was not appropriate. Instead, this provided an opportunity to create interesting spaces by swinging the additions through 45 degrees so that the northern sun could be optimised. To resolve any conflict with new and existing roofs a lower link was introduced containing a new bathroom. A fun part of the refurbishment was to re-instate an external “dunny” – very much part of the vernacular of the time the original house was built.
The additions contain living, dining, kitchen, pantry, bathroom, bike shed and deck, and the build cost was around $250,000.



REVERSE BRICK VENEER120mm timber stud with R2.5 plus R1.0 Aircell.
Externally cladding is rendered Hebel Powerpanel
Internally the brick wall is plastered and set.
Corrugated metal sheet in Colorbond

Polished concrete throughout

Stained hardwood with double glazing and low emissivity glass


  • Orientation and plan shape to optimse solar access
  • Single width rooms for good natural cross ventilation
  • Sloping ceilings with high-level awning windows for hot air exhaust
  • High thermal mass in floors and walls (polished concrete)
  • Double glazed and low emissivity glazing to all windows
  • Wide roof overhangs to shade walls and windows
  • LED lighting
  • Low VOC joinery products and finishes
  • Sweep fans in all rooms
  • High levels of insulation in walls, roof and ceiling
  • Gas heating
  • Solar pergola and timber deck to reduce external heat sink