10 of Australia's best 'face saving' renovations

05 May 2014


It can be hard to let go of a nice old house, no matter how much you want to drag it into the 21st century. Sometimes it's a nostalgic thing. Other times, it's because your local council wants to prevent you from expressing your bold 'tastes' in ways that are likely to make the neighbours squirm.

Either way, amazing results are often had when the facade of an original house is spared, and blended in tastefully with sleek modern renovations. Facadism's alive and kicking in the suburbs - and when it's done well, the result's often immeasurably better than just the sum of a house's (old and new) parts.

Here are ten of our favourite examples:


1. Brammy and Kyprianou Residence by Troppo Architects

Photos by James Knowler







2. Blurred House by BiLD Architecture

Photos by Tanja Milbourne








3. Cloud House by McBride Charles Ryan

Photos by John Gollings







4. Cross Stitch House by FMD Architects

Photos by Peter Bennetts







5. Enclave House by BKK Architects

Photos by John Wheatley







6. Cubby House by Edwards Moore

Photos by Peter Bennetts







7. House House by Andrew Maynard Architects

Photos by Peter Bennetts







8. Parure House by Architects EAT

Photos by Eve Wilson (via The Design Files)







9. Northcote Residence by Wolveridge Architects

Photos by Derek Swalwell







10. Basser House by Mihaly Slocombe

Photos by Peter Bennetts







Seen any other fantastic Aussie houses that blend the old with the new? Tell us about them below...



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Lunchbox Architect's picture
Lunchbox Architect

Great article, Darcy. You've covered some of my absolute favourite Australian renovations. I love Hill House and Cloud House!

I also love Lightbox House by Edwards Moore Architects. There's just a hint of the renovation from the front - a glowing box above the original terrace's facade. Inside it's light and bright thanks to a translucent roof.

Jayde Ferguson's picture
Jayde Ferguson

Love the pictures, they look fantastic! Definitely an article that inspires renovations :-)

Tina Gleisner's picture
Tina Gleisner

These truly prove the saying ... a picture is worth a thousand words & I've got to share at least one of these stories with my readers, to show them how they can maintain a traditional facade and go as modern as they want.

Thanks for sharing & inspiring us

Clémence Barthelemy's picture
Clémence Barthelemy

Hi Darcy, this article is amazing and the design of these houses is fantastic. I wish I could live in this type of home with my little family..
I also found a inspirational article about home renovation here:

I'm the editor of BUILD. Big fan of efficient housing and new technologies, still dreaming of one day living in a very elaborate cave...