A crafted volume is carefully connected to the retained and refashioned rear of an original 1960’s yellow brick envelope to enact clear planning, cost and environmental values in an articulated binary composition - a cellular and private front to the street, with an open and public rear that expands to its landscape setting. The owners, a young couple, moved from Melbourne to embrace a beach lifestyle on the southern fringes of Sydney and commissioned a transformation to their home to accommodate their way of living with Ian, their energetic kelpie.

The original bungalow allows the cultural value of its suburban type to be preserved within its locality, while also supporting environmental and budget outcomes. Its interior carefully configures a program of bedrooms and service spaces, with vaulted skylights carved within the original roof expanding several spaces to light and sky. A sharply folding intermediary form spatially unlocks a compressed front hall while allowing the location of interstitial courtyards for light, ventilation and multiple aspects at the centre of the plan - in turn promoting an interplay of private and public rooms across front and rear zones.

The two-storey pavilion provides a volumetrically expansive double-height living area, and serves as a generously proportioned ‘garden room’ with large apertures capturing sky and landscape views. Its stair element extends the established circulation condition from the original front entry, while marking a loose threshold for the arrangement of two smaller rooms at one end of its volume - a ground level kitchen and a flexible upper floor sitting room that is adaptable as a bedroom or future study. It provides additional room for the owners to grow into, achieves improved privacy from neighbours and provides desired transparency for unfettered spatial relationships within its volume and across its two parts for strengthened connections to its place.

It employs an approach which enables strong visual connections to the existing brick character from within the new pavilion and creates a dichotomy of two differing material characters at either end within the new volume - while its binary play of considered honey and grey tones strongly reference the exterior yellow brick and grey metal of the two distinct structures. Glazing expanses harness natural light and promote passive cooling and heating, while external retractable blinds temper direct sunlight when required. A northern blade screen and a pinched-in rear profile enable greater solar access onto the generous thermal mass of a concrete wall and ground floor slab - with a cantilevered terrace edge and sculpted step element doubling as seats for enjoyment of the garden.

Project Information:

Location: Woolooware, Sydney, Australia

Architect: Christopher Polly Architect

Interiors: Christopher Polly Architect

Structural Engineer: SDA Structures

Hydraulic Consultant: ACOR Consultants

Landscape: Fig Landscapes

Surveyor: Junek & Junek

Builder: Owner

Photography: Brett Boardman Photography

Project Data:
Bedrooms: 3 + 1 guest/study

Bathrooms: 2

Land Size: 786 sq metres (8460 sq feet)

Total Floor Area: 182 sq metres (1959 sq feet)

Terrace & Front Porch Areas: 38 sq metres (409 sq feet)

Construction: 3 years, 3 months

Completion: 2018

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Within this home, vaulted skylights are carved within the original roof, expanding several spaces to the sky. The two-story pavilion is swathed in natural materials like wood and stone paired with inky hues for a soothing, modern palette.

A volumetrically expansive double-height living area serves as a generously proportioned "garden room," capturing vast sky and landscape views.

A look at the living areas with two smaller rooms crafted at one end of the pavilion volume—a ground-level kitchen and an upper-floor sitting room, which can be easily adapted as a bedroom and/or study.

A peek at the northern interior-to-exterior connections via a covered terrace with its cantilevered edge and sculpted step element, doubling as seats for enjoyment of the garden.

The reformed rear of the original dwelling as backdrop. With interstitial garden courts on either side offering light and ventilation at the centre, this space also encourages spatial interplay of public and private rooms.

A stair element extends the circulation condition at the end of the hall where the front cellular rooms expand into new rear interior spaces

Wall, roof, and floor planes extend the envelope at the rear to form a covered terrace, which also improves privacy from adjacent neighbors and strengthens connection to the home's external environment.

A look at the interior-to-exterior connections across a concrete terrace to the landscaped rear.

The northern courtyard provides a secondary entry, as well as an outdoor shower.

Here, you can see the spatial interplay of private and public rooms across the plan from the main bathroom through the pavilion to the landscaped setting beyond.

A look at the interface between old and new through the original yellow-brick dwelling.

A kitchen view and its connection to the rear terrace and landscape beyond

Here is the main bathroom located at the rear of the original dwelling's footprint. This area boasts an acrylic render finish to the walls, as well as a vaulted skylight that has been carved within the original roof.

The ensuite bathroom located towards the front of the original dwelling’s footprint

A large blade screen provides privacy to the rear terrace from an adjacent neighbour

A secondary entry from the northern courtyard into the kitchen with sightlines enabled via an open riser stair across the link towards the front dwelling

Concealed internal retractable insect screens and external roller blinds are housed within fabricated steel head beams, which work in confluence with blinds concealed in upper soffit pockets to temper direct sunlight when required

An upper floor interior view at one of the pavilion towards the double-height living area at the other end

Overall living area with dual aspects and connections to an interstitial garden court and rear landscaped yard beyond its concrete terrace

An oversized geometric pendant is expertly matched to the wall behind the bed for a simple, cohesive, and impactful look.

  • Christopher Polly Architect
Landscape Design
  • Fig Landscapes
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Square Feet
  • 1959
  • Lot Size
  • 8460