This house was adapted from the ‘shell’ of an existing dwelling to meet the specific requirements of one of the owners who had suffered a stroke and for which ‘walking stick’ and occasionally ‘wheelchair aided’ accessibility was provided, along with an independent, separate living unit for the owner’s elderly mother.
The two level home with rear facing views of Balmoral Beach is served by accessible balconies from all rooms facing water views and has, at the lower level, a sandstone walled construction that was converted into an independent living unit, connected to the upper level by a lift and stairs, providing internal access along with a ramped walkway to the front entrance from the street.
Natural light/ventilation floods the interior with this free ‘bounty’ via a bank of five skylights over the central core of the upper level passage, spreading the light/ventilation via angled upper level internal glazing into most of the internal rooms at this level. Here, the walls are also lined with impact resistant plasterboard.
Exterior materials of natural sandstone, rendered brickwork and tiled roofing reflect the basically ‘Federation’ character of the existing streetscape and professionally designed landscaping, and a duck pond enhances enjoyment of the external areas.
The close, constructive collaboration between the owners and myself was a major factor in an eventual successful completion of the house, which relies on clear open interior spaces, accessible connections to all rooms and the use of good quality, elegantly simple Australian building materials, with the beautifully crafted curved internal staircase and accessible sun drenched entertaining decks plus polished blackwood timber flooring being dominant features.