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Downer, ACT


Many of Canberra’s oldest suburbs hold homes that have seen various additions and renovations performed over the years. These are patchwork assemblies of finishes, details, and ideas, and despite having fantastic land and a good footprint, are not well suited to a modern family home. This well-loved property in Gardiner Street, Downer is a premier example, and a prime candidate for the kind of renovation and extension work that Hardwick Projects excels at.

On the cards for this project was a substantial extension on several areas of the home, internal changes to room and wall locations, a full kitchen fit out, pergolas, recladding of the exterior, window replacement and changes to the roofline. This project was a significant undertaking across several areas and involved a detailed and complex plan of attack, coordination of many elements and a high level of collaboration with the clients.

A stunning entryway to a bold, pink door coaxes you in from the street. With an attached deck and featuring an eye-catching raked section as you approach, it makes a strong first impression. Through this entry is a cozy lowered ceiling section and a study nook which opens out into the huge main section of the house with a sweeping view of the kitchen, dining, and living areas.

One of the most immediately visible and striking aspects of the project is the raked ceiling extension to the kitchen and dining area. This room - formally an attached sunroom - is now an integrated part of the house but still boasts the same role, dispersing a huge amount of natural light and heat throughout the home.

With large, double-glazed windows on every wall as well as highlights that chase the raked ceiling up, it is a perfect spot for sitting with the family or reading a book. Reinforcing the idea of this area being the communal keystone is a new woodfire heater integrated into a set of inbuilt bench seats with concealed storage. This luxurious lounge addition defines the family-forward approach that the build is focused on achieving as it interacts with the other areas of the shared spaces.

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home and this simple, clean approach to joinery and design results in an extremely spacious and functional area, built with practicality in mind. A large Caesarstone benchtop in Cosmopolitan White with waterfall end is a centerpiece of the room, the island bench providing ample working space and an attached breakfast bar. The storage runs across the back wall, providing a huge amount of room and easy access next to the dining space.

An extension focused on providing for the family is the new bedroom attached to the street facing section of the house. Reworking the internal spaces of the existing bedrooms combined with this new footprint means that all the bedrooms have gained substantially, allowing inbuilt wardrobes to be installed. Combined with double-glazed windows throughout these areas the bedrooms are spacious and comfortable for every member of the family.

Outside the house, several new aluminium pergolas with twinwall sheeting provide cover over the rear deck sections, a wonderful spot for gatherings and barbeques. The Scyon Stria cladding neatly wraps around the house and combined with the bold finishing of the window trims and eaves gives a strong contemporary view from any angle of the house.

The scope and detail of this project is difficult to capture in a few paragraphs but is easily understood once you enter the home – this is a space for living and growing together. Each aspect comes together in functional and beautiful ways, weaving the needs for the family with the contemporary designs and forms of the modern age, providing a home for the family to come.






16 Gardiner Street, Downer, ACT