This project is a duplex designed for downsizing empty nesters, located in the harbourside Sydney suburb of Cremorne.
The clients were looking for a duplex with the appearance of a single dwelling, including a single entry point. Other requirements included capitalising on water views while still maintaining privacy, as well as retaining a large native tree at the south end of the site.
Key challenges included a small, steep and rocky site as well as a lack of privacy, with the site being adjacent to a view corridor overlooked by many neighbouring properties.
The lot was divided in equal halves across the width, positioning the party wall and entry points on either side.
The unit on the north side had the capacity for a large balcony in full view of the water. However, as this was adjacent to the view corridor, one side was pulled back slightly, angling the front in a “turning” gesture. The balcony is exposed yet also screened for privacy with vertical battens that turn around the balcony’s edges.
Other design elements include high banks of glass louvre windows for cross ventilation, extended eaves for shading windows, and casual living areas at ground level that open up to the covered patios and connect with the green spaces beyond. The balconies open to the sky with round openings or “oculi” in the roofs, which also support a large array of solar PV panels.
The unit on the south incorporates a cupola roof which increases light, ventilation and space while also emulating the form of the native tree adjacent. Stone is incorporated into the facade, picking up on the sandstone retaining wall on the east boundary.
The structure’s height limit allowed high ceilings in some rooms which would have otherwise been small in area. Privacy and sun control were enhanced with the use of batten screens in front of windows and atop and beneath balconies, as well as oculi in the balcony roofs. Curved glass windows also created the sense of a panoramic view over the water.