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August 26, 2013
For a renovation located in Glebe—an inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia—Carterwilliamson Architects took an environmentally friendly tack. "We believe that 'fit' buildings, buildings that are not big, but ‘big enough’ and flexible enough to accommodate changing lifestyles and that minimize spatial, material, and energy wastage are one of the biggest contributions we as architects can make towards a more sustainable future," says firm principal Shaun Carter. To that end, they repurposed an existing structure, relying on passive heating and cooling principles and natural daylight to guide the project.
modern house in australia with corrugated metal cladding

Australian firm Carterwilliamson Architects converted a 19th-century cow shed into a residence that implements passive heating and cooling principles. "Our clients share a vision for gregarious family life which is reflected in their home. The spaces are truly ‘open plan. Each room is connected to the others and to the sunny, green courtyard that acts as a natural extension of the living spaces," says firm principal Shaun Carter.

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modern dining room with concrete floor and sliding glass wall

A sliding glass wall separates the dining room from the small backyard. The floor is polished concrete and references the humble materials of the original structure.

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Clerestory window in a modern renovation near Sydney, Australia

A band of clerestory windows illuminates the interior. The walls are recycled brick, whose thermal mass insulates the house. "One of the most challenging aspects of the build was negotiating a tight budget; however it was also one of the most exciting aspects and led in part to the refined palette of raw materials which give the home so much of its character and echo the pastural vernacular of the old cow shed," says Carter.

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bedroom in modern house with clerestory windows

The archtiects placed a bedroom on the mezzanine level above the dining room.

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modern bedroom with exposed ceiling rafters

Exposed ceiling rafters add warmth to the stone-and-brick building.

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facade of modern house in Australia clad in corrugated metal

The architects designed the sloping roofline due to the existing jacaranda tree on the lot. Foliage used to collect on the old roof, clogging the gutters. The new structure's dramatic pitch prevents leaves and branches from accumulating.

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bedroom and office in modern house with hammock

The kids' room features a playful hammock.

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bathroom in a modern house with green mosaic tile floor

Vibrant green tile adds punch to the bathroom.

For more houses in the region, view "Super Sydney: 5 Modern Houses from Down Under" and "A Hillside Family Home in Australia."

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modern house in australia with corrugated metal cladding

Australian firm Carterwilliamson Architects converted a 19th-century cow shed into a residence that implements passive heating and cooling principles. "Our clients share a vision for gregarious family life which is reflected in their home. The spaces are truly ‘open plan. Each room is connected to the others and to the sunny, green courtyard that acts as a natural extension of the living spaces," says firm principal Shaun Carter.

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