Craig Byatt Architecture

Periscope House

Periscope House


the brief

Our clients, Rob and Jean, had owned their Ascot Vale house for many years. They loved living in the area, but wanted more space for themselves and their family – particularly as their three children were approaching high school age.

Rob and Jean were also keen to achieve a ‘value for money’ extension, while staying true to their core ethical and environmental principles. Fundamentally, they were focussed on creating well designed, compact spaces that could be adapted to their family’s future needs, rather than just building bigger.

With these principles in mind, we achieved a design solution resulting in a comfortable, creative improvement to their home, without scrimping on quality, affordability AND that periscope window!


Finalist - 2012 Sustainability Awards, Alterations and Extensions

A reworked house in Ascot Vale sports an ingenious solution for obscured views ­- impressed gasps ahoy!
— The Age


  • All year round comfort, without air conditioning, was achieved by designing to maximise warmth from the sun and cool breeze ventilation.

  • Hydronic heating was installed throughout, including in the concrete slab under the kitchen bench – hello toasty breakfast feet!

  • A small hydronic panel was installed in a new laundry drying cupboard, avoiding the need for a clothes dryer and further reducing energy consumption.

  • Water storage tanks were plumbed to the toilet, washing machine and garden taps, saving thousands of litres on mains water consumption.

  • Building materials timber, brickwork and concrete were salvaged and reused from the partial demolition of the existing house.

  • All external materials were selected for minimal maintenance and durability and to eliminate the need to paint.

  • Low or non-toxic finishes, such as paints and sealers, were chosen to protect the family’s health and wellbeing,

  • A unique periscope window was installed to help quickly vent warm air from the house and to provide clear city views. Watching fireworks from the couch is now a thing.