Allen Key House – A Minimalist Home Blends the Old with the New

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Set in Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, this bright and airy home has been created from the ruins of a 1930s California Bungalow. The project, dubbed Allen Key House, saw a major overhaul of the existing property, with living spaces now being centralized around the kitchen.

The project was taken on by local firm, Architect Prineas. The main challenges of the build revolved around balancing features deemed to be of historical importance, and implementing the new, contemporary aesthetic. The resulting home is a bright, white space, filled with large windows and glimpses of the outside garden.

Allen Key House - Architect Prineas - Australia - Exterior 1 - DesignFutz

Project Details
Architects Architect Prineas
Location Sydney, Australia
Area 220-square-meters
Year 2016
Photos Chris Warnes<

To show a clear distinction between the old and new sections of the home, a glazed link was created that connects the original building to the new addition. This link creates two internal courtyards that coat the interior with natural light and ventilation.

Allen Key House - Architect Prineas - Australia - Interior 8 - DesignFutz

Challenged by an extremely tight budget, the design was centered around a shed-like structure that followed the lines of the existing roof form and ensured simple construction. Interventions and manipulations of the roof form were explored as a means to introduce additional light to the new addition.

Living areas were increased in size to create large, comfortable spaces for the occupants. A flat packed storage system was designed and integrated into these living areas, reducing the need for stand-alone furniture pieces, and freeing up the rest of the rooms.

Allen Key House - Architect Prineas - Australia - Interior 9 - DesignFutz

Oversized dormer windows create a complex and lofty ceiling plane within the open plan space. The highlight windows draw views of the treetops into the kitchen and living areas, creating a strong connection between the house’s interior and its leafy surrounds.

Focus was placed on developing a simple, minimalist home through the use of plain materials. Black aluminium window frames frame views of the outside garden, and are highlighted by the plain white walls. The house was also extended to the exterior, with a new outdoor timber deck being constructed.

Allen Key House - Architect Prineas - Australia - Interior 2 - DesignFutz

Allen Key House has become a case-study for the development of a modular, repeatable design that has the flexibility to suit the individual and the site… The modular system makes the house easy and economical to construct (all in one go or in stages). The design lends itself to the monolithic use of materials.

Photos © Chris Warnes

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