Victorian terrace extension Surry Hills

A formerly run-down Victorian terrace house has been renewed with design elements that evoke the spirit of Surry Hills.


Challenges were those typical of most terraces: narrow width, poor natural light, dampness and thermal issues. The architect sought not only to address these issues but to create a space that celebrates inner-city living.

Victorian terrace house Surry Hills


Victorian terrace house Surry Hills interior

Inspired by the Surry Hills café scene, the architect decided to place the kitchen at the end of the house, on the threshold of indoor and outdoor environments.

“The connection to an outdoor space, the light and warmth that it brings, is so crucial in these small inner-city terrace houses,” says architect Michael Cumming.

“The kitchen becomes a link to outdoor and indoor dining areas – it’s a more social response.”

Statement yellow adjustable awnings add to the café vibe. Usually for sun protection, in this case the awnings are used for privacy, angled to protect overlooking by apartment buildings to the rear.

The kitchen and dining room are linked in one continuous built in joinery, accentuated by an overhead feature lighting track.

There is a small courtyard midway in the depth of the plan, allowing natural light to permeate deep into the house.

“Natural light is introduced on two sides, and from above, it creates a sense of space larger than its physical dimensions,” says Cumming.

The heritage of the home has been respected by restoring the facade and front rooms true to the Victorian style. Fire places, Victorian skirtings and cornices, high ceilings and windows and doors have been kept true to the home’s heritage.

Beyond the front rooms, the structure was demolished and replaced with the contemporary addition.

Victorian terrace house bathroom Surry Hills

Upstairs, three bedrooms and two bathrooms are linked by a stacked staircase, open in design to allow as much natural light into the home as possible.

Victorian terrace house stairs Surry Hills

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