Still Space Architecture has designed an Asian-style compound to link an existing weatherboard home with its new counterpart, and create a private oasis in the middle of suburban Sydney.

From the architect:

The brief was for the creation of an Asian type compound, a series of structures within a walled garden providing seclusion and refuge within a suburban setting, and flexibility for future use. The site strategy allows the historic weatherboard house to be kept within its entirety, creating a sequence of garden courtyards linking the old and new buildings. A narrative of movement is created from public to private zones modulated by the verandah, the repetition of structure and framed garden views.

Functions of living and sleeping areas, of day and night, are separated by the verandah, with quieter sleeping spaces carved within the new brick pavilion. Moving from sleeping to living areas allows open interaction with weather and light variations. Materials are contrasted to highlight separation of form between old and new structures.

Photography by Brett Boardman

The house functions as a flexible space for the occupants. The structure enables future adjustments and provides multi-generational use in the separation of private and public spaces across day and night. The building form allows the occupants to intimately engage with the landscape.

This built form reads as a simple rectilinear form with pitched roofs, in keeping with its suburban context. The massing of form on the site minimises overshadowing, heat gain and strategically blocks and frames views.


  1. To create a private oasis in the midst of suburbia. The site is overlooked by several buildings, which was overcome with the strategic massing to create private courtyards, control views and the use of landscape to enclose the site.
  2. To retain the historic weatherboard house on site and integrate this with a new pavilion.
  3. Getting the building approved by council who had issues with the unusual form and open connection between the two buildings. The DA was rejected and successfully appealed.
  4. To retain the sense of an expansive lush garden and build the necessary accommodation. This was achieved by having a narrow floor plate minimising the footprint on the site and ensuring connection with the garden on all levels. A series of garden courtyards are used to link spaces.


  • The house relies on passive ventilation using ceiling fans, and full height louvre windows. Stack effect ventilation is utilised in the central stair, drawing up cool area from the garden through the house.
  • Windows are designed for venting the house during periods of absence, adjustable screens on the upper level reduce heat gain whilst insulated curtains can also be drawn. A subfloor basement offers respite in extreme heat.
  • High performance glass was installed and brickwork is cavity insulated providing thermal and acoustic insulation. Brickwork is painted in low VOC paints, reducing internal linings.