The client's brief called for a house that could equally support the living patterns of a couple or two independent individuals, and extended family as required periodically. Indoor and outdoor living spaces are interspersed evenly across the site, with a two storey portion above the garage and the street entry. The program is distributed horizontally in bands from street entry in a sequence towards progressively more intimate spaces. The house is oriented to open to the environment but excludes unwanted urban effects.
The contemporary residence was designed to feature 'striking geometry' within an enclosing series of weathered and recycled brick walls. It is oriented around a primary north facing courtyard, with a string of more intimate courtyards arrayed around its perimeter.
The site is formed out of the left over space between the intersections of conflicting neighbourhood grids, hence the unorthodox geometry.
Bounded on three sides by a road and two narrow urban laneways, the former builder's yard stood empty, except for the high enclosing masonry walls to the perimeter. Recycled bricks are stacked upon the existing brick walls in a series of distorted gables. Where these gables connect to courtyards on the interior, the brick is laid in an open course pattern that promotes the passage of light and air without sacrificing the introspective focus of the house. Open course brickwork with fixed frosted glass windows behind is used to bring filtered natural light to the interior without compromising privacy or thermal comfort.
The courtyards allow abundant natural light which also passes through the open course brickwork to produce textured and kinetic shadows.
The program of the house has been distributed across the site to optimise environmentally sustainable design features. Passive solar design principles give rise to the predominant northerly orientation with the house laid out around a large north facing courtyard. Supplementary courtyards arranged against the existing masonry walls afford more intimate opportunities for contact with nature.
The stealth profile of the house from the street is intentional. Spaces are organised to provide a linear transition from lesser to greater privacy. Addressing the street and entry are the living spaces of the house, while bedrooms and a first floor painting studio are located at the ends of circulation paths.
Shaded outdoor space is provided for optimised ventilation flows across the range of seasonal and weather conditions. The existing perimeter walls provide excellent insulation to the south and protection from the heat of afternoon sun to the west.
The repetitive gable roof forms were chosen to resonate with the light industrial character of the immediate surrounds.
BPN Sustainability Awards, Finalist, 2012
Houses Awards, High Commendation 2012
RAIA NSW Architecture Awards, shortlist 2012
Think Brick Horbury Hunt Awards, Residential & Reuse Award 2011
WINDOWS & EXTERIOR GLAZED DOORS
TIMBER FLOORING & DECKING
SOLAR HOT WATER
ART OF JOINERY
HALLIDAY & BAILLIE