Nothing short of outstanding… brilliantly bold, rigorously conceptualised… A truly social home that has a nuanced dialogue with the public sphere.
- Houses Magazine, Issue 124
The client - a family with two young boys, relocating back to Australia after living overseas.
The site - a triangular plot in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
The brief - a place to entertain friends and family, with a close connection to the outdoors.
One of our first impressions of the site was the expansive fig tree at the western corner of the site, along with the other trees along the boundary of this corner site. By elevating the family living spaces to the first floor, these frequently-used spaces could benefit from the quality of light and views across the tree canopy that this raised viewpoint enabled. The existing ground floor could then be mostly retained, conserving budget for other areas of the project.
To increase access to the garden, an unsympathetic later addition at ground floor was removed to provide a cool and secluded deck, shared by the two western bedrooms.
Providing privacy from the street and protection from the western sun, a series of sliding perforated metal screens set against the tree canopy filter the light and views, with a vertical gradient of perforations offering privacy to neighbours below and transparency to the sky above.
The cantilevered first floor volume provides shelter to the deck below, and at first floor opens the living spaces out to the north-facing terrace - offering open, social spaces and a continuous view to the treetops. Playing with contrast, materials define the boundaries between interior and exterior: dark charred timber cladding is cut away from the volume to reveal pale timber and clean white planes within.
Responding to the triangular site, the diagonal cut is manifested in elements throughout; from window reveals to planter boxes and outdoor seating. The design aims to integrate functionality into the details to enrich family living – such as the northern edge of the elevated deck, expressed in a continuous element that incorporates planting, outdoor seating, privacy screen, benchtop and storage.
The blackened timber exterior belies a calm, bright interior that becomes a backdrop for dappled light, soft shadows and greenery playing through the elevated living spaces. Raised above its urban context, views over and through the canopy expand the perception of interior spaces, whilst the metallic bronze screen filters the movement of light, trees and the setting sun.
Find out about the process behind creating beautiful spaces
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