A Measured Approach

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photos by:
February 28, 2009
Originally published in Learning From Down Under
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  • 
  The outside steps of the Zulaikha–Laurence house in Sydney’s suburb of Balmain Point present an effective transition from the solid rock underfoot to the delicate structure of the house beyond. This approach helps to define the singular space of the residence.
    The outside steps of the Zulaikha–Laurence house in Sydney’s suburb of Balmain Point present an effective transition from the solid rock underfoot to the delicate structure of the house beyond. This approach helps to define the singular space of the residence.
  • 
  The rear facade. A system of sliding glass windows and doors underscore the indoor/outdoor nature of the house.
    The rear facade. A system of sliding glass windows and doors underscore the indoor/outdoor nature of the house.
  • 
  Architect Brian Zulaikha.
    Architect Brian Zulaikha.
  • 
  Exposed timber rafters support the roof, which is peeled back at the rear of the site to draw in warmth from the northern sun.
    Exposed timber rafters support the roof, which is peeled back at the rear of the site to draw in warmth from the northern sun.
  • 
  Inside, a suspended staircase rises up past the couple’s bookcase over a well-lit seating nook.  Aalto stools by Artek join Eames molded plywood dining chairs by Herman Miller to give an especially modern touch to the kitchen.
    Inside, a suspended staircase rises up past the couple’s bookcase over a well-lit seating nook. Aalto stools by Artek join Eames molded plywood dining chairs by Herman Miller to give an especially modern touch to the kitchen.
  • 
  On the main floor, the kitchen islandis like Zulaikha’s own version of a Donald Judd sculpture: minimal, freestanding, and geometric.
    On the main floor, the kitchen islandis like Zulaikha’s own version of a Donald Judd sculpture: minimal, freestanding, and geometric.
  • 
  The kitchen includes ceiling lights whose fittings are recessed and offset; their glow is both diffuse and elusive.
    The kitchen includes ceiling lights whose fittings are recessed and offset; their glow is both diffuse and elusive.
  • 
  The bedroom contains an ingenious closet system similar to library stacks. These large sliding cabinets open up to make way for Zulaikha and Laurence as they hang their clothes or access anything else kept in storage.
    The bedroom contains an ingenious closet system similar to library stacks. These large sliding cabinets open up to make way for Zulaikha and Laurence as they hang their clothes or access anything else kept in storage.
  • 
  The sun cuts down into the upstairs bathroom through skylights, casting rhythmic shadows of roof beams onto the floor and walls. The bathroom includes a cantilevered toilet by Catalano.
    The sun cuts down into the upstairs bathroom through skylights, casting rhythmic shadows of roof beams onto the floor and walls. The bathroom includes a cantilevered toilet by Catalano.
  • 
  The veranda looks out onto the harbor.
    The veranda looks out onto the harbor.
  • 
  The glass and wood walls of the bathhouse, like other retractable panels on the house, 
offer shade with a view.
    The glass and wood walls of the bathhouse, like other retractable panels on the house, offer shade with a view.
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