Italianate House

Sydney / Australia / 2017

102
102 Love 6,748 Visits Published

A new contemporary family home previously used as offices:  it's a restoration and brave conversion of an existing heritage-listed 1890’s three storey "Victorian Italianate-style" terrace house with carriageway.  With modifications to the rear wing and restoration and modification to the sandstone stable, restoration of rear stone fences and an addition of a concrete carport with landscaped roof terrace located at the rear of ‘L’ shaped site in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia.


The clients are a young family and the brief was open in order to allow freedom to explore many possibilities beyond their minimum requirements for three bedrooms and guest quarters.


The underlying challenge was to translate the existing 1990’s office fit-out into a contemporary residence while honouring the historic style, while still being able to live in comfort and with awe at the bold design modifications.


The constraints meant that instead of building a new addition to the low heritage significance rear wing, consideration turned to reworking the area to provide spaces with light and visual connection as well as access to courtyards.  This is where the most dramatic design intervention took place with a glazed connection of links and voids, separating the old from the new with a negative space.


The introduction of the impressive engineered double height brick vault to this restructured rear wing seemed an appropriate element for the Italianate style of house.  This brings to modern design such elements of historical grandeur that gave rise to the great architecture of early civilisations and bestowing the notion "the arch never sleeps".


The main historical features such as ornate marble fireplaces, main staircase, and main entry glass paneled door and sidelights were brought back to life contributing to the beauty of the new residence.  Materials favoured where salvaged bricks, terracotta tiles, white Carrara marble and white stuccoed walls.


Passive cooling, underfloor gas heating, hydronic radiators to the front terrace house along with the thermal properties of the existing mass brick external walls and double glazing to skylights and new openings provide sustainable physical comfort.


Rainwater collected irrigates gardens. Existing vegetation is retained to maximise amenities and new vegetation used extensively on balconies, garden walls, and carport green roof.


The existing building's generous size permitted additional spaces beyond the client’s needs and expectations allowing the introduction of the multi-use conservatory on the second level of the rear wing.  Designed with the same objectives as an outdoor terrace, it uses reclaimed terracotta floor tiles laid under an expansive double glazed roof acting as a heat bank during winter, dispersing hot air to the upper levels and doubling as a drying area during wetter months.  The conservatory is a wintergarden during the cooler seasons with natural sunlight and is protected by the glass roof on rainy days.

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    A new contemporary family home previously used as offices:  it's a restoration and brave conversion of an existing heritage-listed 1890’s three storey "Victorian Italianate-style" terrace house with carriageway.  With modifications to the rear wing and restoration and modification to the sandstone stable, restoration of rear stone fences and an addition of a concrete carport with landscaped roof terrace located at the rear of ‘L’ shaped site in Surry Hills, Sydney,...

    Project details
    • Year 2017
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence / Country houses/cottages
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