Twice as Nice

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photos by:
January 14, 2009
Originally published in Around the World
Within the mix of warehouses, detached brick bungalows, and dusty pubs of the Sydney, Australia, suburb of Alexandria, local architect David Langston-Jones has built an intricate and finely textured duplex that’s one part speculative development, one part home for the owner and architect. The building’s two small units (Langston-Jones occupies one and rents the other) benefit from a shared shady patio that makes the somewhat cramped quarters a leafy retreat.
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  The double-height ceiling and ample northern light in the dining room make it rather cozy within.
    The double-height ceiling and ample northern light in the dining room make it rather cozy within.
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  Corrugated steel cladding defines the exterior.
    Corrugated steel cladding defines the exterior.
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  Langston-Jones doubled the outdoor space by combining the back patio of his unit and that of his neighbor. A small screen of gracilis, or weaver’s bamboo, and Rhapis palms provides privacy between the courtyards while still remaining relatively transparent. “When funds allow, a stainless steel chain-mail ‘curtain’ will be suspended from the roof structure to provide further privacy,” the architect notes.
    Langston-Jones doubled the outdoor space by combining the back patio of his unit and that of his neighbor. A small screen of gracilis, or weaver’s bamboo, and Rhapis palms provides privacy between the courtyards while still remaining relatively transparent. “When funds allow, a stainless steel chain-mail ‘curtain’ will be suspended from the roof structure to provide further privacy,” the architect notes.
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  The kitchen, clad in the same wood as the joinery walls, is designed like a self-contained piece of furniture.
    The kitchen, clad in the same wood as the joinery walls, is designed like a self-contained piece of furniture.
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  Langston-Jones works tucked in his office beneath the stairs.
    Langston-Jones works tucked in his office beneath the stairs.
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  David Underwood, Langston-Jones’s partner, opens the large glass doors that expand the interior of the small house out onto the sun-drenched courtyard garden. In keeping with Langston-Jones’s love of Le Corbusier, the dining room chairs are LC7s and the table is an LC6 by the famed Swiss architect and Charlotte Perriand.
    David Underwood, Langston-Jones’s partner, opens the large glass doors that expand the interior of the small house out onto the sun-drenched courtyard garden. In keeping with Langston-Jones’s love of Le Corbusier, the dining room chairs are LC7s and the table is an LC6 by the famed Swiss architect and Charlotte Perriand.
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  Langston-Jones created a custom armrest that he had made to fit snugly on his blue Slaapbank sofa designed by Martin Vissin.
    Langston-Jones created a custom armrest that he had made to fit snugly on his blue Slaapbank sofa designed by Martin Vissin.
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  American walnut veneer covers the cabinets in the kitchen.
    American walnut veneer covers the cabinets in the kitchen.
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  Tight quarters in the bathroom allow for a bit more room in the main living spaces.
    Tight quarters in the bathroom allow for a bit more room in the main living spaces.
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