Twin Peaks

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A Queen Anne style residence reveals its hidden character and history in the late night lights. Two crisp zinc roof gables, observing the shadows on the narrow footpath, guard the new entry door.

The early 1900s bricks, shingles and Elizabethan windows have been a theatre for three generations of the same family. They have a history to reveal that cannot be found in a new building.

Following a failed total rebuild design by a different architect, Luigi Rosselli Architects opted for a more subtle “tummy tuck” and clean up of the original house. Some of the 70s and 80s additions were removed, and the original house restored and enhanced. The only addition was of an infill of the front courtyard set between the two gables. This addition houses the new entry and stairwell, much more dignified than the old sunken and squeezed side entry porch. The old Queen Anne now has a new hearth, a three storey atrium with a Piranesi inspired stair winding and unwinding from the lower living room level to the upper attic. The stair is surrounded by the brick walls of what was once the courtyard, and the openings have been veiled by terracotta screens made of half round pipes, stacked in a fish scale pattern. The street entry is half way between the ground floor living level and the first bedroom floor.

Double Bay and Sydney Harbour are the backdrop to this venerable residence, being perched on a spectacular rock outcrop ensures that the bay is visible from all the windows. The new steel windows on the bay side of the house are shaded by a new balcony and roof structure with generous eaves and simple balustrades.

Will Dangar’s landscaping has introduced softness to a barren backyard with the creation of a terraced garden and the addition of an ancient olive tree and tall palms. Stephanie Conley’s flair for design has lent the interiors an elegant and cosmopolitan air, executed with meticulous attention to detail by Associate Architect, Simon Hassall.

This house is now set to become a durable residence for hopefully many more generations, and its twin peaks will keep observing the shadows on the narrow footpath.

Elizabethan leadlight windows are guarding the new entry.
The joyful interiors of Stephanie Conley have scoured the world for elegant furniture and artworks.
Intertwining the old and the new the main theme of this renovation to achieve continuity and a coherent unison.
Sydney Joinery installed the Cellar Rack wine storage system.
Ribbed glass in steel doors lets the light into the kitchen pantry.
Coco Chanel and Elizabeth Taylor bookend this bay window, and they could have sat comfortably together in this “Swedish...
Frank Sinatra in black and white strolls towards the grand piano.
The All Metal Products supplied fine steel windows.
This unusual window was inserted into the pre-existing shape of the gable and a generous attic room was reclaimed from...
Double Bay, with Point Piper on the opposite shore.
Fred & Ginger pencil lines are dancing with the Double Bay backdrop.
Masterfully built by GNC Constructions, this stair is a “tour de force”.
Plain steel windows and steel reinforced eaves differentiate the more recent wing from the original Queen Anne house.
Through this archway the stair pierces the old courtyard wall and enters the attic space.
The stair rises from the entry to the bedroom level and winds up to the attic.
A small archway leads to the laundry and cellar.
Absorbing landings and changes of direction, the balustrade was carefully designed to provide a continuous flowing line.
The stair atrium was achieved by infilling a courtyard.
On the opposite side, the house tumbles down on the steep topography.
Elizabethan leadlight windows are guarding the new entry.
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