Our client wanted a house that would add positively to the streetscape and connect the occupants to the rich and varied context of its position in Elizabeth Bay. But it also had to provide a private and secluded inner world. A house that would simultaneously provide prospect and refuge. A modern house beautifully crafted, with excellent materials and finish, but with an ancient air. The plan of the three level house with its wide central hallway, inner courtyard and double height verandah to the north, gives visual transparency and connection to the rich surrounds, while also allowing for cross ventilation, protection from sun and rain and a sense of visual enclosure and privacy.
Elizabeth Bay is full of fine brick buildings, and bricks were chosen as the primary structural material. Between the brick walls and enclosing the balance of the facade are beautiful western red cedar panels sometimes 9m’s high. They are part wall, part window and part furniture. They act as cladding, window and furniture simultaneously, providing for ventilation, light, view, and privacy, incorporating insulation, storage and services. They were fabricated as large interconnected façade panels in Kempsey in Northern NSW, trucked to site and lifted by crane into position. They are a highly crafted and detailed feature of the external and internal elevations.
Brass, timber, steel and copper elements complement the brickwork and cedar panels. Beautiful panels of Turpentine veneer line the internal walls, and turpentine veneers and recycled solids of ironbark and turpentine are used throughout the interior. These elements and fixtures were custom designed for the project by the architects and builders and were fabricated by local contractors and trades people. In all the house attests to a belief in the handmade, the crafted and the local.