The original Birchgrove House II consists of a federation style cottage located on an exposed corner site in Birchgrove. The new design had to contend with issues of privacy, a sloping block and working with the original cottage. The brief required an open light filled home for a family of four.
The new additions to the rear of the building are built to the boundary of the secondary street, reinterpreting the original fence of the rear yard. This brick wall extends out from under the envelope of the existing cottage and creates a secure and solid base to the home.
Hovering above the boundary wall is a curvaceous metal clad addition, which contains the parent’s retreat .The form of this element contrasts to the angular nature of the original cottage and folds away from the canopy of a nearby street gum, allowing the two to work together. The roof then turns down to the opposite boundary, reducing the buildings impact of the neighbouring residence.
Internally the planning contains an internal open courtyard, which acts as a lantern, spilling light into all parts of the home. This courtyard also acts as a discrete buffer and link between the new and old parts of the design but still maintains the privacy to the street. A second open yard to the top of the site that allows for full cross ventilation across the living areas.
Materials throughout the building are warm and inviting. Even though the site is small and exposed, the secure nature of the bounding walls, hidden courtyards and a variety of differing spaces, allow for a light open oasis within the site.