Of all the priorities listed for architects when commencing designs for period home renovations, ‘please let there be light’ must surely be the most common. Some achieve this via glazing en masse, and others, like Sonelo Architects, take a more restrained approach to these sometimes complex issues of lighting vs space.
The Gable Clerestory house project was “borne of our intention to minimally extend an existing heritage Queen Anne period dwelling to suit a growing family, and attempt to capture daylight in a land-locked heritage site,” says Elodie Lim, co-founder of Sonelo. Their clever solution for the south-facing rear was the creation of a traversing gable roof form atop the new living area. “A clerestory window on its ends admit desirable sunlight in winter, giving warmth, cosiness, and a light-filled internal volume,” says Elodie.
Their approach to the interior was very much guided by the client’s adoration of colour and mid-century architecture. “The use of warm timber elements and bolder pastel colours as a focal point drives the interior concept,” says Elodie. “The colour and richness of Fibonacci’s Act Three terrazzo stone initially drew our attention, then when we combined it with the selected paint colour for the cabinetry in the kitchen. We were ecstatic how well it captured the essence of the Queen Anne period original red brick.”
The desire for performance, practicality and durability was of course as important as a perfect aesthetic result. “These are key factors for us in considering our selection. We think clients should be rewarded with an ‘effortless’ home when they have invested so much financially and emotionally into it. Terrazzo, being one of the most durable surfaces for benchtops when sealed got our client across the line with the selection.”
And as to Fibonacci’s industry-first offer of ‘No Lead Time’ guarantee, whilst Sonelo believe it to be “important in a general sense for designers”, in this case it was the precise colour, nature and performance of Act Three which cemented its specification. “Our selection was guided by the design concept from the start,” says Elodie.