Not every radical home makeover turns an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, but they sure can render the original structures completely unrecognizable, for better or worse. Sometimes no more than the bones of the home stay in place as an entirely new sort of residence rises in its place, while other renovations maintain a starkly visible division between the old and the new. These transformations certainly prove the value of looking past a building’s flaws to its potential, as no matter what a house may look like when it’s purchased, it can ultimately be anything the homeowners want it to be.
Kensington Residence, Sydney, Australia
There was nothing particularly special about this two-story 1920s bungalow residence in Sydney, Australia, before CplusC Architects got ahold of it and transformed it into a sustainable home. An existing extension to the first floor is vastly improved by a timber screen that improves natural ventilation and gives it loads more curb appeal.
Brooklyn Row House by Office of Architecture
A 110-year-old Brooklyn row house looked very 1980s with its vinyl siding, boring sash windows and afterthought of an awning, not to mention missed opportunities for vertical expansion and a visual connection to the private outdoor space. Office of Architecture renovated the space inside and out, integrating a second-floor extension, lots of glass and a wooden facade.
Commercial Building to Modern Residence in Thailand
A gutted five-story commercial building becomes a spacious, luxurious home for an extended family of siblings, their spouses and children in this stunning Bangkok renovation project by IDIN Architects. The first level accommodates the family’s jewelry store, while the rest serves as their private home, full of atriums planted with live trees.
Texas Ranch House Transformation by MF Architecture
Who would ever think that a ranch house had so much potential? This residence east of Austin, Texas had already been expanded several times and was full of dark, disconnected interior spaces. MF Architecture conserved most of the exterior envelope while knocking out lots of the interior walls, but gave the facade a fresh look with white brick, timber cladding and a high row of narrow windows that bring light inside.
Modest Home in Salmon Arm, Canada
The couple who bought this property in Canada called it a “run-down, boring sausage-box cookie-cutter house built in ’73 on a large lot with ramshackle garbage-filled sheds.” But they knew it could be more, and took on the project of renovating it themselves, adding a third-floor volume that extends to the ground in the front and back, transforming the facades and tacking on two carports.