A Mid-century Inspired Prefab Extension

Prefabricated homes are often ultra contemporary in their appearance, but with the right materials and approach, they can be designed to complement any architectural style. Case in point – the interiors of this prefab extension in Elsternwick are perfectly suited to the style of the original mid-century house.

By integrating a timber ceiling, brick floors, and terracotta tiles in keeping with the existing material palette, Modscape has created a cohesive home, while supporting the client’s desire for a more contemporary way of living.

The owners of this mid-century home in Elsternwick loved the original architecture of the home, but were in need of more space and a more contemporary layout to suit their growing family.

Modular building and design company Modscape was brought on to extend the home with two key criteria in mind: retain the feel of the existing home throughout the interiors, and open up the floor plan. The plan was to renovate the front of the home to form a large master suite, add an upstairs children’s area, and replace the existing living room with an open-plan domain.

The extension takes the form of a simple open-plan structure, with materials that reference the existing home. Prue Lavery, design manager at Modscape, explains, ‘We wanted to take the heart and soul of the existing home and update it with a collection of high impact and raw finishes that complement the mid-century style. Gently marrying the old and new, and converting the original portion of the house into a more contemporary, however, not too far removed, style.’

Artedomus terracotta tiles in both the new old and new parts of the home visually link the extension to its predecessor. ‘Their natural, warm tones tie in nicely with the rest of the home’s palette and connect with the mid-century style we were working with, as well as throwing back to the original design,’ says Prue. In another homage to the original house, blackbutt timber lines the ceiling and is used as exterior cladding.

For Prue, integrating these warm, textured materials into the extension is the most successful element of the project. ‘This wasn’t a typical white, plasterboard space, and that results in a home that has a lot of soul and personality,’ she says. A black veneer added to the kitchen joinery punctuates the space, while a central spiral staircase adds a sculptural element.

The rear facade of the home is definitely modern in style, but the flat roofed structure is also reflective of the property’s mid-century origins.

Modscape built the extension in its off-site factory while on-site renovations were taking place. ‘This meant the clients could stay in the home longer, which is not only a comfort but also saves costs on renting or booking an Airbnb,’ says Prue. Off-site construction also limited site delays (and therefore budget blowouts) as well as disruption to neighbours.

This article was originally published on the Design Files.