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Location: North Bondi, New South Wales, Australia
Footprint: 1,200 square feet
Builder: TMG Building
Structural Engineer: SDA Structures
Landscape Design: Sue Barnsley Design
From the Architect: "This is a modest reworking of an unusual semidetached house in North Bondi to create a small, efficient home with an abundant garden and a strong connection to the street. Overlapping room uses ensure a density of program that challenges traditional conventions and adds significantly to the richness of the living experience.
"While the building’s footprint was reduced, the home’s interior space was increased in size to create a third bedroom. External hard surfaces are reduced from 485 square feet to 215 square feet, creating significantly more garden space. Only existing bricks were used to create new openings, and the new floor and exposed structure throughout is recycled timber. External sliding screens on the perimeter are easily operated by-hand to respond to weather. Away from the perimeter, small voids, highlight windows, and skylights bring light to the center of the plan. There is no air conditioning or heating; the house is well oriented and naturally ventilated, making the most of the near constant sea breeze.
"As client and architect, building our own house provided an opportunity to reflect our values and ideas about living. This results in a house that challenges prevailing attitudes to privacy and planning (overlapping program ensuring an interesting mix of uses) while providing a rich backdrop for family life. Living in such close proximity to the street has also enabled many lasting community connections (including much feedback on the architecture) and the garden has become a local obsession.
"The garden was the main focus for the project since its inception, providing a crucial filter between the house and the street. It is abundant and generous benefitting not only the inhabitants but also the community. We were lucky to work with Sue Barnsley on this project who designed a number of distinct gardens reflecting the specific orientation and exposure of each. The garden is mostly native and has no irrigation."
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