Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Darling Point Penthouse in Sydney, Australia by Christopher Polly Architect
January 7th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Christopher Polly Architect
Conceptual Framework – The proposal involves a complete, customized re-design of a top floor penthouse to enrich the amenity to all interior and exterior spaces by way of a two-fold approach: a. the clear delineation of the public and private domains in the plan arrangement that simultaneously enables particular spaces to flexibly borrow from, expand into or contract from other spaces as required to offer a variety of unique spatial configurations; b. the strong physical and visual connections of spaces to the terrace to enhance the amenity of, and relationships between, the living, kitchen and terrace areas, that also encompasses a link of borrowed light through a bedroom to an internal bathroom and overriding strategy of fully integrated lighting and storage.
Program Resolution – A long joinery device commencing at the entry and culminating at the northern terrace is employed as a means of unifying disparate wall alignments along the entire length of the apartment within the public domain – ultimately serving as the key threshold between the public and private areas of the plan. Its visually planar quality is punctuated by pivoting panels, recesses and apertures that lead to a reconfigured private domain of rooms, new enlarged bathroom and new kitchen respectively.
Large sliding and pivoting panels flexibly enable the private guest room to expand into and form part of the public living area to gain access to light and ventilation, thereby visually and physically expanding the living area into the depth of the plan. A new study and sitting area are inserted near the entry, permitting access to alternative contemplative views of the harbour which can be visually demarcated from the main living areas by a retractable curtain to flexibly contract or enlarge the living areas as required.
A frameless corner window and glass sliding door expand the new kitchen into the terrace, improving solar access, ventilation and access to principal views of the harbour, while vastly enhancing the function and relationship of this room to the terrace. A steel framed pergola with integrated adjustable louvres and lighting extends along the entire northern length, providing protection in this exposed orientation for all northern glazing, while increasing the amenity and function of the terrace for enjoyment in all seasons. An external mirrored wall at the western end of the terrace enables reflected views of the harbour from within the main bedroom, while a timber lined bbq area and low built-in benches with integrated outdoor storage provide a sheltered space for alternative enjoyment of views and contemplative reflection.
Sustainability – Significant parts of the of the existing structure and walls were consciously retained, assisting to reduce the carbon footprint by way of retaining the embodied energy within the existing fabric. Use was made of recycled Blackbutt timber externally and internally; high-performance grey toned glazing to reduce heat loads; external louvred pergola to control northern solar access and heat gain and to improve useability of the terrace; substantial wall and ceiling thermal & acoustic insulation; 100% natural rubber to the kitchen and entry vestibule floor areas; energy efficient light fittings & appliances and water-saving sanitary and tap fittings.
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