It’s common for clients to create a wish list for their architect before a project starts. An open kitchen, ample storage, sustainable design, a native garden—these were all on the project brief that architect Zoe Geyer, of ZGA Studio, received a few years ago from her clients, a young couple looking to build a new addition to an already existing home in Hampton, Australia, just outside Melbourne. Not so common? Their request for a backyard racetrack.

But given that these clients were a young couple with three boys, all under the age of 8, the wish was entirely understandable. It also spoke to their desire for a fun, casual space, “a home where the kids could drag the outside inside and always have sticky fingers,” says Geyer. “The house was to be as relaxed as a beach house but flexible for many different uses and stages of family life.”

Ultimately, the couple “opted out of the racetrack,” she reports. “But it would have been brilliant.” No matter. She fulfilled every other wish on their list—including a hardworking kitchen that’s the beating heart of their home.

Come along for a tour of the modern new addition she designed for an outdoors-loving family.

Photography by Tatjana Plitt.

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Above: “The kitchen was a focus of the design, as this family is passionate about food and coming together to prepare and share meals. The kitchen and living areas flow into one space, with a large island and stools providing an area for the family to casually interact,” says Geyer.
The cabinets are made from lime-washed blackbutt timber; the countertops from Maximum &#8
Above: The cabinets are made from lime-washed blackbutt timber; the countertops from Maximum “Venus’ reconstituted porcelain. Recycled bricks were sourced for the wall: “It is deliberately textured to reflect the heavily textured walls of the existing Spanish Mission house, as well as to add a ‘non-precious’ element to the new addition,” explains Geyer. Sourcing sustainable materials was a priority for the clients, both of whom have an environmental background.
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Above: “The arched window in the kitchen looks out onto a beautiful large gum tree on a neighboring site, to complete the sense of connection to the landscape,” says the architect. “This arched window also references an original arched window in the existing house.” The black faucet is by Astra Walker, the round sconce by Euroluce, and the “Amano Walls” tiles from Academy Tile.
The view from the kitchen toward the dining room. The ceiling and upper part of the walls feature fiber-cement panels, hand-painted to look like cement. In the kitchen, the panels conceal extra storage. &#8
Above: The view from the kitchen toward the dining room. The ceiling and upper part of the walls feature fiber-cement panels, hand-painted to look like cement. In the kitchen, the panels conceal extra storage. “The kitchen was designed to provide a framework for the clutter of everyday life. High cupboards in the kitchen and living areas provide storage space for skis, Christmas decorations, and the other paraphernalia of family life,” says Geyer.



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