The conceptual framework for this project is very much influenced by its context. The long narrow site is closely bounded by residential units to the south-west and the Piano Factory warehouse apartment conversion to the north. The west and east offer framed views to established trees and green streetscape respectively.
Taking these issues into consideration, the new additions attach to the rear of the terrace and unfold along the length of the site, with new floor levels corresponding to the natural topography, resulting in a series of split levels and pocket courtyards with the eight-metre high stepped Piano Factory heritage wall along the northern boundary as their backdrop.
The selection of materials and finishes for the project were influenced by the strong presence of the Piano Factory brick wall. Existing painted masonry was stripped back to expose sandstock brickwork and compressed fibre cement sheet cladding was left raw. New ashlar render is also left unpainted, metal roof sheeting is galvanised and left to weather and patina with age. Steelwork is painted an ox-blood red colour, reminiscent of raw steelwork primer but also referencing a heritage palette.
The project has provided an opportunity to explore an alternative model for updating the inner-city two-storey terrace house. The constraints and opportunities provided by the site, the brief and council planning controls have generated a unique house which has a deep connection to its site and is ultimately a very functional and comfortable home.
As a family, the clients have always lived in dark, enclosed inner-city terraces. The alterations and additions to this new property have allowed them to enjoy a much more light-filled, open plan living arrangement where the garden is integral to the way the home is used.
The heavily shaded site gave the opportunity to explore the use of glazed elements differently. Inverting normal conventions, opening windows are solid panels and walls are clear glass, providing a visual connection to the courtyards. Sun-controlled skylights along the southern edge of the house capture daylight throughout the year. The glazed gallery hallway beside the main courtyard captures the winter sun and becomes a radiant heat sink for the rest of the house. The main bedroom angles away from the southern boundary to minimise overshadowing onto adjacent properties while also increases privacy and reducing overlooking issues.
The brief called for a separation of sleeping and living areas and also a delineation of ‘grown-up’ and ‘play’ areas. Creating opportunities for indoor-outdoor living was also an important issue.
All sleeping areas are contained within the existing 2-storey terrace part of the house. The living areas are divided and linked together by the pocket courtyards which enable as much integration or separation of these areas as required.
Responsible adaptive re-use of an existing dwelling. We chose not to make major internal alterations to the existing terrace. Use of recycled material from the site. Installation of in-ground stormwater and rainwater tanks. External sun control to all glazing elements. Thermal mass in the new floors.
Developing strong relationship to the neighbouring Piano Factory Heritage wall was a major design opportunity for this project. The house responds to the materiality and immensity of the wall by respectfully integrating it into the site. Responsible adaptive re-use of the existing terrace house. We chose not to make major internal alterations to the existing terrace which was useful for programming the sleeping areas into the existing rooms. Original exterior features of the terrace house was restored in keeping with the character of the immediate streetscape.