Architects: Andrew Burns Architect
Location: Erskineville, Sydney, Australia
Project team: Andrew Burns, Casey Bryant, Nath Rankothge
Builder: Nonda Constandelia
Structural engineer: Simpson Design Associates
Project area: 123,6 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Brett Boardman Photography
The Erskineville House consists of the remodelling of a very small inner-city terrace house. At 3.9m wide, the site presented a number of challenges. They key task was to create an enlarged sense of space, despite this limitation. This was achieved by emphasising the available dimensions, length and height, in lieu of the narrow width. A lightwell void is cut into the centre of the plan, creating a surprisingly generous sense of volume within the core of the dwelling. The width is divided into four distinct zones; lightwell, built in seat with void over, walkway with bridge over and stair. This compression of uses creates a dense moment in the centre of the dwelling.
The bridge creates an unexpected dramatic moment upon ascending to the upper level, gaining views down over the window seat below and to the sky above.
Timber screens are used throughout the site, typically associated with small garden spaces. Subtle patterns are introduced into the screens, responding to the available views of foliage beyond and the need to screen in particular areas. The gardens are used to create deliberate moments of relief and delight; a small fragrant garden upon entry to the site, lightwell garden in the core, rear garden and upper level ‘bench’ garden outside the upper bedroom, screening views from neighbours and softening the western sun.