The Glebe Residence was designed for a professional Sydney couple who required a home from which they could work, but also retreat from the bustle of urban life. In order to maintain privacy, attention is turned away from overlooking neighbours and focused inward toward introspective courtyards.
Situated in a heritage neighbourhood, preserving the existing 1920s California-style bungalow streetscape was a major design consideration, and therefore the front two rooms of the existing house were retained, with extensions being confined to the rear of the house; and while its presentation to the rear lane is two storeys high, a human scale is retained, framed by timber truss-work. The original walls and timber-framed windows of the existing house were also retained with internal spaces re-worked to engage with a new courtyard.
The heart of the new Glebe Residence is the study, conceived both as a place of daily work and as a place of quiet contemplation and observation. Cedar cladding encloses this space with a warmth that is sensitive to the materiality of the existing house while the curved geometry articulates a bold new form to mark the entrance and the new extension.
Timber serves as a unifying element throughout the Glebe Residence, both on the ground plane and above eye-level. The 90x45 Blackbutt truss-work forms an ordered grid while beneath this framework is a playful configuration of spaces where the structure transitions from housing internal living spaces into the courtyards to enclose an outdoor living room.
As both the designer and builder on this project, our aim was to fulfil the client’s brief of a warm and introspective retreat while sensitively extending upon the heritage house to achieve a contemporary private home.