In Melbourne, Australia, a 1960s family home has been updated with a new contemporary extension that draws inspiration from a traveling caravan. Flanked by lush greenery, the Bent Annexe is filled with natural light and designed to follow passive solar principles for energy efficiency. The modern addition was designed by Australian architectural practice BENT Architecture for an outdoor-loving family of four and their two active Dachshunds.

The primary goal of the Bent Annexe was to open the relatively introverted midcentury home up to the garden and bring greater amounts of natural light and ventilation into the living spaces. To that end, the architects removed existing ancillary structures in the rear of the property to make space for the new addition. With the primary living spaces now located in the annex, the architects also took the opportunity to remodel the existing dwelling, which now houses larger bedrooms, a family bathroom, and a second living space.

exterior of home with greenery and children playing outside with Dachshunds

lounge area inside home with large windows and timber walls

“The trick to making the Annexe feel like a part of the garden is creating green spaces on both sides, by separating the addition from the original home with a courtyard,” the architects explain of their design process. “Of course, the central courtyard improves cross-flow ventilation and lets north light into the master bedroom, but with full-height windows on both sides of the living area, it also creates the illusion of one continuous space, blurring the boundary between inside and outside.”

living area with wood furniture and painted brick and tile floors with lots of windows

woman sits on garden wood box while children lay and water plants near drive way

brick lines the home's exterior with plants surrounding the entrance

Related: A 1960s home gets a modern facelift with solar panels and rainwater collection

Built to wrap around the original home beneath a continuous roofline, the extension houses open-plan living areas that overlook the landscape through full-height glazing and casement windows. A retractable shading device—a caravan-inspired canvas element—provides shade to a decked outdoor dining area that strengthens the home’s new indoor/ outdoor connection. The use of concrete floors for thermal mass and operable louver windows help passively heat and cool the space to reduce the home’s energy bills.

+ BENT Architecture

Via ArchDaily

Images © Tatjana Plitt

dinning area with wood table and walls

white kitchen cabinets with green tiles and surrounding black painted brick and wood