Glen Iris House is a minimal home located in Glen Iris, Australia, designed by Simon King Architects. Constructed in the 1930s, this English Revival residence boasts classic architectural elements and an expansive 1,300 square meter plot. Positioned near a creek in a flood-prone area, local regulations limited the building envelope to 70 percent. Due to budget constraints, the decision was made to renovate and extend the existing structure for a family with young children, rather than build a new home. Simon King Architects faced several challenges during the renovation, including the home’s poorly lit interiors and an unconventional layout.
The house’s existing orientation and room arrangement contributed to its dark atmosphere, and accessing the 1960s family room addition required walking through the kitchen. In the renovated design, the original pitched tile roof and front rooms were preserved. These spaces now serve as a formal living area and a study or home office. The main bedroom remains in its original location but now includes an ensuite and dressing area, as opposed to a corridor-accessed bathroom. The children’s bedrooms have been updated with deep portal entrances for increased privacy and a reconfigured main passage, providing direct access to the new open-plan kitchen and living areas.
The extension also allowed for the creation of a versatile space adjacent to the dining area, suitable for a secondary living area or expanded dining for larger gatherings. One significant issue with the original home was its lack of natural light, particularly in the southern-facing rear elevation. To address this, a sawtooth roof was added to the new wing, introducing northern light and creating a bright environment in the informal living areas. A sizable 4.5-meter skylight was also installed above the main passage to further illuminate the space. The new kitchen features a spacious island bench, ample built-in storage, and large picture windows showcasing the lush landscape along the creek.
Photography by Timothy Kaye