Nestled amongst thick bushland in Sydney’s Sugarloaf Bay, The Quarter Deck is a mid-century dwelling that has seen a number of contemporary integrations carried out by 8 Squared Architects and Studio Gorman.
The brief for The Quarter Deck was submitted by a tech guru, who wanted to create the ideal family home for himself and his three children. The home had to be extended in order to accommodate the family, but had to remain cosy and warm. Given the client shared custody of the children, it was important that the dwelling remained pleasant as opposed to cavernous, and was also able to host a number of extended family members when they came to visit.
8 Squared and Studio Gorman opted to honour the 1950s architectural home as much as possible, distinguishing a number of elements of the existing. The Butterfly roof, exposed structural steel beams, shiplap panelling to the front façade, bagged brick interior walls, and original timber windows and doors were restored, with these characteristics informing much of the design response. Subtle shipping references incorporated by the original 1959 architect, Glynn Nicholls were also restored, such as the fine steel wire balustrading to the upper deck.
The yellow kombi of the client was also a source of inspiration for the project. Named Little Miss Sunshine, the van is parked behind a glass viewing panel which sits adjacent to the central staircase. Studio Gorman referenced Mondrian palettes throughout the interior, with hues of blue, red and yellow layered over a base of limed and naturally oiled American oaks and blotches of white. The surrounding bushland is connected to the house, with the master suite effectively sitting amongst the scrub.
Both 8 Squared and Studio Gorman had to deal with the adversity of ensuring the house was large enough to accommodate visitors without compromising the integrity of the original dwelling. Two new wings were devised by 8 Squared that transition seamlessly between new and existing, with Studio Gorman fusing the materiality of both interior and exterior. This was achieved through mimicking the exterior palette with a strong focus on modernist characteristics, with futuristic light fittings, white walls, abstract art pieces and timber joinery all implemented.
Given the bushland location, the home’s flame zone rating challenged exterior materiality, as well as door and glazing choices. The two bathrooms on the eastern side were not permitted to have external windows due to these restrictions, which made it difficult to allow for an influx of natural light.
Restoring a number of existing elements, 8 Squared Architects and Studio Gorman have looked to attain and nurture the work of Glynn Nichols while adding upon his initial designs. Both studio’s have wisely designed for the needs of the client, site and the home, creating a space that is inviting and cosy irrespective of the number of occupants within the house at any one time.