On a tight urban block in Bondi Junction, this addition to a small workers cottage aims to make the most of this heavily constrained site. A 10m high wall along the rear boundary limits access to sunlight, aspect and space. Planning controls require new structures be concealed from the street and below the ridge line leaving little room for additional building footprint and mass.
A mezzanine bedroom and bathrooms are tightly arranged around a side courtyard. A new living space built to both side boundaries make the most of the 5m wide site and open out to a partly covered paved terrace and adjoining kitchen wing. The central living space is the key to the house. The 4.3m ceiling adds much needed internal volume and cross ventilation. A high pitched skylight extends the ceiling a further 1.8m providing a northern window high enough to receive direct sunlight in winter deep into the house. The material palette is simple and robust and blurs the boundaries between inside, outside and adjoining structures. A retained tall palm tree becomes the focal point in the garden. The planning affords flexibility for use for our client’s psychology practice where clients can reflect prior to session.
NSW AIA Jury Citation:
Spatially generous, this project resolves the basic limitations of a highly restrained site with great skill, care and character. Set in a one-storey brick terrace, with its northern boundary flanked by a ten-meter high brick wall, Walter Street Terrace literally stands in the shadows. Its search for light has articulated the volumes and spaces of its design.
A minimal palette of largely recycled materials is well balanced against the heaviness of the brick and the adjoining structures. Newly introduced north facing sky light and internal volume contributes to a series of well-scaled, comfortable and interlinked spaces - where the existing and the new are adeptly considered. In the main living room, the datum line between of brick wall and white ceiling plane emphasises the light overhead, and imbues a protective warmth to the interior. Sawn recycled hardwood is used for a structural screen wall, along with smooth softwood for handles and other tactile elements. The full northern side of the upper level bedroom is operable and has a priority that makes the space seem generous, whilst also allowing additional light to the entry underneath.
This is an intimate and restorative interior on a challenging site, which is cohesively and intelligently resolved.