Terracotta roof tiles from Monier Roofing were chosen by Welsh + Major
Architects for an award-winning home in Sydney’s inner west.
‘A house with tiles on it’, the entry at this year’s annual Think Brick
Awards won the Roof Tiles Excellence Award, a new category that recognises
design excellence in the use of roof tiles for both commercial and residential
projects. Welsh + Major Architects were recognised for their innovative
thinking and craftsmanship on this residential project.
Located in Haberfield, the Federation property was purchased by the
owners because of its relatively large block of land and close proximity to
Sydney’s CBD. The existing house had two yards, one located on each side that
were not very well connected. Additionally, an ‘awkward garage’ that was never
used and a ‘sort of upstairs space’ were key design challenges for David Welsh
of Welsh + Major Architects.
The brief for the architect was to reimagine how this Federation house
might best work for a family. The location of the house presented a different
kind of challenge; since Haberfield lay within one of Australia’s earliest architectural
conservation areas, strict planning and approvals were required from the Council.
Seeking to design a modern, contemporary home without compromising the heritage
requirements, he started exploring different types of materials that could become
the link between the contemporary design aesthetic and the heritage aspect.
Welsh found this connection in Monier Marseille terracotta roof tiles,
enabling the owners to renovate the contemporary extension to their house
consisting of the new kitchen and dining area, which were visible from the
street. The terracotta roof tile became the vehicle for a contemporary solution
in a heritage context, which in time will develop a patina and depth of colour
in perfect harmony with its surroundings.
Welsh explained that the Council really liked the idea of using
terracotta roof tiles in the renovation.
Monier terracotta roof tiles were also chosen for the authenticity of
terracotta as a material, along with its natural warmth and beauty that cannot
be found in other roof products. Terracotta is a natural, genuine and
sustainable material that provides excellent protection against Australia’s
The innovative use of vertically mounted roof tiles was aesthetically
appealing as they created a nice focal point from the street in addition to
referencing 1970s architecture. The Monier Marseille terracotta roof tile
profile matches the roof tiles of the original house, remains in-line with the
heritage requirements, and also matches the roof tiles of the immediate
In awarding this award, the Roof Tile Excellence Award jury noted: ‘The
conceptual directness of this project belies its extraordinary sophistication.
This is an innovative addition to a federation house that respects the
qualities of the neighbourhood and reenergises the building for a new