Jonathan Lake Architects – Designing & Energising Spaces
Multi-award winning architect Jonathan Lake showcased some of his work to us recently. We noticed a definite restoration, renovation and extension theme occurring throughout this portfolio.
design-estate champions restoring the old and designing new life into a home so we wanted to present highlights from a few of his recent projects and chat to Lake about his work.
Photos: Rob Frith, Acorn
Maylands Residence (above)
This highly crafted, heritage listed home was influenced by its rich original features and refinery. Awarded in 2011 the AIA WA Chapter Architecture Award in the Additions + Alterations section. Key materials include timber,
Photos: Rob Frith, Acorn
Fremantle Additions (above)
Working with a heavy emphasis on the original limestone that’s both textured and tactile this highly crafted addition produces a beautifully blended mix of Fremantle colonial architecture with new light, functionality with contemporary design. Key materials include original and rammed limestone, corrugated iron roof and timber.
Jonathan Lake talks to design-estate about his work.
What do you find most interesting about designing a renovation?
I love the relationships between the old and new. I like exploring how a contemporary addition can be created that is sympathetic to the existing conditions and materials. I love the point at which you transition between them and the threshold. Most old places have quite dark rooms with small openings and not much connection to the site so I love to create new spaces that open up completely to the site, bring new light and outlook into the house.
Do you have any advice for clients who are thinking of taking on the challenges of a renovation?
Building is a very expensive exercise and often clients do not have enough money to achieve all of their dreams.
If at all possible I would recommend avoiding living in the house while the additions are being done. It’s very difficult building at the best of times but living with the renovation, the mess etc can make the process considerably harder. It often can make the builders works harder having to work around family and occupant requirements.
Also, take the time to find an excellent architect. There are so many good architects these days that people should be able to meet a few and find the best fit for their vision and their personalities. It’s a very intimate process designing and the client architect relation is critical.
Photos: Jody D’Arcy
Floreat Additions (above)
Working with an excellent example of modernist architect Lake re-orientate key spaces towards the outdoors. While the coloured glass panels were inserted to breath fresh light and reflective colour that changes throughout the day. By raising the ceiling and adding newly exposed beams, he introduced a feeling of additional space and light. Key materials coloured glass, exposed structural beams and timber.
Name one or more key material you continue to used again and again, and why?
I have used rammed earth on three occasions now and I love its weight and hand-made quality. I love materials that reflect how they were made, and their feel and finish. They encourage you to touch them. I’m attracted to spaces that you want to feel. I have also used recycled timber flooring a lot. It comes with a history and character already that adds an extra layer. I like to express the qualities of the materials I use and want them to be natural.
Can you list any resources that you turn to regularly for creative inspiration?
I’m a bit of purist and typically refer to the classic design publications like Domus (from Italy) or El Croquis (from Spain) or A+U (from Japan). They just always have an interesting new project and cover them extremely thoroughly. I’m fascinated by the explosion of online coverage of design but don’t have a particular favourite. I have my hero’s too and know that I can always turn to them for guidance.
What are some of your favourite architectural projects either locally or globally or both in recent years?
There are so many it’s hard to point them.
Locally Space Agency (Alex Hotel is a regular coffee place for me) and Kerry Hill (State Theatre is a true masterpiece) always deliver amazing projects. I like some less well known local practices too, Finespun are crafty and smart and Vittino Ashe unbelievably well-detailed projects (check their apartment interior on Adelaide Tce in this year’s Architecture Awards).
Nationally I’m always amazed at the consistency of Kerstin Thompson in Melbourne and Durbach Block Jaggers in Sydney (All their houses. Also their recent Engineering Building at UTS is insanely good).
Internationally I’m fascinated by a lot of the larger projects. Weiss Manfredi in the US, in particular, their Seatle Art Museum at Olympic Park and also Morphosis finished a new arts building at Emerson College in LA, which is incredible.
Interestingly I haven’t seen too many houses internationally lately that inspire me as much what we do in Australia. design-estate agrees with you Jonathan!
Photos: Rob Frith, Acorn
North Perth Residence
This project demonstrates how a generous family home can be achieved on a small inner city block while still having considerable external space for living and gardens. Lake also wanted to demonstrate that architecturally design houses can be affordable and design a home that concentrated on people in spaces rather than cars. Key materials were deliberately restrained. Allowing the simplicity of the shape and strength of the textured materials like timber, recycled concrete walls and exposed brick to reveal its beauty.
Jonathan Lake Architects formed in 2004 and since then has produced formally and spatially distinctive buildings that have a strong connection to the Western Australian suburban and urban landscape.
JLA was awarded the Architecture Award for Additions and Alterations in the Australian Institute of Architects (WA Chapter) Architecture Awards in 2011 and 2013 and for Small Project Architecture in 2013.
Jonathan Lake Architects
Tel: 9444 5570 M: 0419 000 486