Helen Vaughan Architect

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Helen Vaughan Architect
14 North Terrace HIGHGATE SA 5063 Australia

As a registered architect/qualified interior designer I have extensive experience in commercial and residential projects. Established in 2004 my practice specialises in residential work, where I apply my dual qualifications to extensions/renovations both sympathetic to the existing house style and to contemporary client needs. Where possible I incorporate natural materials to add a sense of quality and timelessness. Capitalising upon site constraints is also integral to my design process. By developing close relationships with my clients, I create design solutions that are imaginative and have the ‘wow-factor’ and yet are practical and cost-effective.

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Toorak Two

Toorak Gardens, 2015

The brief called for an extension to the existing local heritage zoned gentlemans bungalow’ that would be light and bright, despite the block having a south-facing rear aspect. The solution incorporates three rectilinear volumes of different heights inserted behind the historic front dwelling, which was retained and restored. Through a library area of bookshelves, a new gallery link leads through to the contemporary extension. Slit windows play with light on the ground. Corridors lead to subtly divided bedroom suites. The lower height gallery link opens onto the largest, high-volume living space. Filled with northern light from the courtyard, this space also enjoys southern views of the pool and rear garden. A third volume inserted into the living space comprises a computer nook, utilities and a music/dance/indoor-sports room that extends into the rear garden. The simple finishes of the interior palate comprise hoop pine, polished concrete floors and white walls, providing the perfect backdrop for the client to play with colour and texture through such mediums as art, wallpaper features, sculptural pendants and an eclectic, extensive book collection. The house caters for four children with different talents, from drumming to ballet and the martial arts. The light-filled spaces provide an opportunity for this large family to work and play individually or together.

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Eucalypt Embrace

Myrtle Bank, Adelaide, 2012

The original 1950s house remains intact externally, nestled adjacent to a creek line, capitalising on gum tree vistas from the northern rear. A new low-level link containing kitchen and study opens to a high-volume open-plan dining/living space, comprising two rectangular blocks placed perpendicularly; this subtly defines the two areas for dining and living. Building on the austerity of the original house design, simple roof lines and flat eaves work with the site. Highlight windows open up to tree-top views, reaching out to the eucalypts which line the creek-bed adjoining the rear of the property. Varied ceiling levels and finishes create places within spaces

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Kensington Gardens , 2014

The home is a sandstone and brick return verandah villa set on a substantial block. As a contributory item in a historic conservation zone, the original house had to be retained and the extension hidden from the street view. There was a 1960s extension on the eastern side of the property which was demolished, and the original house is being fully renovated. Although the rear of the block faces east, the new open plan living area extension faces north, capitalising on the northern winter sun and views over the garden and the pool (planned). The simple modern structure allows a sympathetic combination of the new with the old, providing the best of modern facilities while maintaining the charm of the existing house


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