This 4 bedroom house is located on a ridge above Sydney’s Middle Harbour, with significant district views as well as a distant view to Chatswood in the west. Officially it is alterations and additions to a 1970’s house, as 30% of the original house had to be retained to allow the house to retain it’s floor area, height and location on the site, all of which exceeded new planning controls for the area. The garage and bedroom wing are maintained in the original location, while a new 2 level steel framed structure replaces the original western wing.
A strong horizontal expression is emphasised by the cantilevered terrace off the new living area, with floor to ceiling glazing to all rooms taking advantage of the significant views and natural daylight. Sawtooth clerestory windows allow northern light and cross ventilation to rooms along the southern face of the house, with a combination of glass and aluminium operable louvres controlling privacy, ventilation and sun shading. The house was conceived as an open viewing platform, with an overlaid veil to modify the internal conditions. Internally the planning is essentially open spaces modified by sliding screens, rather than traditional cellular rooms with doors. Materials are long life and low maintenance, aluminium cladding to the new upper level, terrazzo flooring, Corian lining to bathrooms and glass balustrades.
The upper level contains twin garages, 3 bedrooms, study, bathrooms, TV room and open plan kitchen, dining and living area, opening to a large terrace cantilevered over the hillside. A central corridor runs from the entry to the stair, with a series of fixed and sliding wall panels opening to rooms either side. A new lower level has been added that allows direct access to the swimming pool and garden from a family room and provides guest accommodation and a gymnasium in the former basement.
The client is a collector of all things ‘Philippe Starck’ and had already purchased a number of items, including door handles, light fittings, taps, bath and a toilet suite prior to the design of the house. These items had to be integrated into the design as well as several pieces of Starck designed furniture. The existing landscaping was maintained where possible and supplemented with additional planting.