Woollahra House

  • woollahra house
  • woollahra house
  • woollahra house
  • woollahra house
  • residential architecture
  • residential architecture

Two Into One

This project consists of the renovation of a terrace in Woollahra. Originally, the terrace formed part of a line of small single storey terraces built in the 1800’s to house officers from the nearby Victoria Barracks. In the 1970’s two of these terraces were combined and a second storey added to form a single terrace. The brief consisted of stripping out the majority of the previous renovation and refurbishing the building throughout.

The residence opens out to the north to an enclosed courtyard. The internal space extends out into this courtyard and benefits from reflected daylight off the courtyard walls. The ground floor spaces are linked by a new lacquered concrete floor that flows throughout the lower level. The unified floor and the refined palette of materials all serve to maximise the sense of space. A slot skylight traverses the block allowing light into the back of the living areas.

The new layout incorporates an open plan living /dining / kitchen area which revolves around the central fireplace. Due to the limited size of the internal spaces the joinery became multi-functional elements that hugged the walls to provide required storage space without cluttering the plan. The long thin nature of the kitchen / dining joinery spanning the eastern boundary wall extends the eye out into the courtyard. The stair to the second level became a piece of joinery incorporating a wine store, the pattern of which extends up to become the balustrade.

On the upper level the main bedroom also enjoys the northerly aspect. Here, the requirements for storage as well as sun control combined to form a unit that runs the full length of the northern wall incorporating a system of sliding joinery screens over. These joinery screens were considered to be an opportunity for the architecture to respond to the clients’ interest in art – a random horizontal and vertical design based on a bar code image. This pattern of light and shade is also used in the wine store and the two were seen as sister elements.

The renovated terrace is a modest approach to the possibilities of the site. The history of the original terraces has been maintained with the original proportions of the second doorway maintained as a new window to the front façade. The sense of space has been maximised through careful consideration of layout and joinery – and the quality of the internal space, even in the upstairs ensuite and robe, hidden behind small dormer windows to the street, is a constant surprise to all who visit.

Award:

Finalist Belle House of the Year 2000