2000 raia architecture award for interior architecture
2000 belle house of the year finalist
Our brief was to give 'life' to what was a poorly built mid 80's three level townhouse. A professional couple wanted this to be their long term city home. The solution resulted in a total strip out of all levels, a new rear facade, the refurbishment of an existing courtyard which extends into the interior space and the inclusion of a pond as focus to all levels.
The bottom level is now garage, TV/ guest room and courtyard, the mid level is kitchen, dining, living and balcony space with the top level being bedroom, study and bathroom zone. The house is small so all elements are carefully proportioned and placed. Major elements float and slip above the ground plane thereby giving a sense of extended space.
To facilitate entry of light and air movement a slice is made across each floor level culminating in a new ventilated skylight. A beautifully crafted aluminium slatted floor bridges the slice at each level and helps define either a change in level or function. Emphasis is placed on a series of reflected and extended views to add richness to this small house. Open stairs, slatted floors, glass, considered openings, frames and worked edges assist in enriching these vistas.
The three level house is one of three identical townhouses on the northern side of Davies Street, Surry Hills. The typical density of the inner city results in the narrow / long nature of the floor plans. The houses were built in the mid eighties as part of a speculative development. Each of the three town houses has an enclosed courtyard. The existing condition allowed minimum visual connection to the streetscape and uninteresting connections to the rear courtyard.
Apart from the internal strategies, our scheme seeks to connect all three interior levels to this exterior court. It also frames views street side by focusing windows on existing tree canopies. A coloured concrete slab extends the interior into the courtyard and vice a versa. An ornamental pond with a "floating" pebble clad screen with built in water vale is the focus of this exterior space. It is legible from all three levels of the house, being viewed (and heard) from a reconfigured balcony and the main bedroom floor to ceiling louvre window. The scheme works with the existing alignments and levels whilst presenting a more transparent face to the north and the courtyard. As a responsible member of the linked rear courts this project increases the amenity of both the occupants and the immediate neighbours.
On the lowest floor the courtyard and interior fuse with various floor and wall elements extending toward each other. The mid level offers a transitional balcony space complete with an ambiguous indoor/outdoor joinery element from which to view the court and to dine from. The top level absorbs and existing balcony and presents a full height louvred window which allows long views as well as focusing on the rear court. Steel framed doors are used due to the lightness of frame and they are designed to fold open to directly connect both realms. Joinery, floor plates, stairs float above the floor plane and slip over each other to extend space and give the house a calm tension.
paul king pty ltd
VRD detailed joinery