Our projects are focused on sustainability through proven design principles and appropriate material choices.
For this terrace house in the inner city Sydney suburb of Glebe, we created a small, energy efficient house on an undersized vacant lot. It’s a densely populated and historic part of the city. The real estate agent’s advertising sign read, “as rare as hens teeth” for the tiny, 123m2 subdivision. The building was set back as possible on the site in order to take advantage of the northerly aspect with a sun filled courtyard garden that is paved in recycled bricks. This space also doubles as the off street parking required by council and allowed maximum solar gain to the six-meter wide site. The house itself is only 4.2 meters wide internally and 15 meters long.
The project was completed in two stages, the first being the house and some years later, the front entrance structure off the north facing courtyard providing secure off street parking, front gate, mail box and pedestrian entry.
Sustainability is also about the re-use of materials or its ability to be recycled once they have served their purpose, in the event of renovation or demolition. We aim to keep our geometry fairly simple and regular to reduce waste of materials during construction and in the event of an appliance needing replacement there is no need to interfere with joinery as everything is independent, like individual pieces of furniture. There is a raw aesthetic with materials and finishes kept to a minimum.
The contrast between industrially processed materials and finishes balanced with hand made items and more tactile surfaces adds a visual warmth to the interior.
There is a semi-commercial style kitchen that is quite generous for such a small house. In this case one of the owners works in the food industry and is a keen cook so the kitchen is often the centre of activity and was a focal point for the design.
In any building we design we have three view lengths in mind, there is the intimate immediate space with varying levels of adjustable enclosure, then the middle ground, in this case the courtyard and then the long view linking the house to the spire of the Abbey with it’s trees and sky to the north.
This house has very low maintenance requirements and hopefully will remain in use for many years to come as we consider longevity to be one the best measures of a sustainable building.