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A Measured Approach

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Utterly dynamic, this house on an urban peninsula in Sydney is rich with inventive and thoughtfully considered spaces. Walls become windows and screens slide shut to repel (or entice) the changing weather.
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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.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    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. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  The rear facade. A system of sliding glass windows and doors underscore the indoor/outdoor nature of the house.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    The rear facade. A system of sliding glass windows and doors underscore the indoor/outdoor nature of the house. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  Architect Brian Zulaikha.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    Architect Brian Zulaikha. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
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  Exposed timber rafters support the roof, which is peeled back at the rear of the site to draw in warmth from the northern sun.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    Exposed timber rafters support the roof, which is peeled back at the rear of the site to draw in warmth from the northern sun. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
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  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.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    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. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
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  On the main floor, the kitchen islandis like Zulaikha’s own version of a Donald Judd sculpture: minimal, freestanding, and geometric.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    On the main floor, the kitchen islandis like Zulaikha’s own version of a Donald Judd sculpture: minimal, freestanding, and geometric. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  The kitchen includes ceiling lights whose fittings are recessed and offset; their glow is both diffuse and elusive.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    The kitchen includes ceiling lights whose fittings are recessed and offset; their glow is both diffuse and elusive. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  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.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    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. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
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  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.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    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. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  The veranda looks out onto the harbor.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    The veranda looks out onto the harbor. Photo by Roger D'Souza.
  • 
  The glass and wood walls of the bathhouse, like other retractable panels on the house, 
offer shade with a view.  Photo by Roger D'Souza.
    The glass and wood walls of the bathhouse, like other retractable panels on the house, offer shade with a view. Photo by Roger D'Souza.

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