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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Mandalong House in NSW, Australia by Smart Design Studio (designed using MicroStation)

March 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio have completed Mandolong House in Mosman following a sensitive and extensive refurbishment of a two storey Victorian family home originally built in 1885. The house recently featured on the front cover of Belle magazine’s May edition and as part of the article ‘Sheer Brilliance – Fabulous homes that really set the pace’.

Tennis court

  • Architects: Smart Design Studio
  • Project: Mandalong House
  • Location: Mosman, NSW, Australia
  • Project Architect: William Smart
  • Software used: MicroStation


The main entry (via a porte cochere) is flanked by the traditional formal lounge and dining rooms which break out onto covered verandas and a courtyard garden wrapped at its edge by and off-form concrete ‘perching’ wall whilst the upper level has been reconfigured to provide an ensuite to each of the three bedrooms, as well as a media room. The master-bedroom now leads onto an ensuite that sees the marriage of dressing room, large wardrobes, vanity area, 2 person shower, free standing bath and cleverly concealed WC all in the one room.

Slot window

The living area at the rear of the house has been reconfigured to create a continuous flow to the outside, with bifold doors opening full width beneath a cantilevered awning. The new layout integrates the requirement for open plan living without dissolving the beauty of original features and formal hierarchies of spatial planning that is integral to a house of this scale and grandeur.

Living room

Hallways provide more intimate spaces that conceal oversized artworks, which blanket the white walls; and also conceal a secret cellar that has been excavated beneath the house to create and intimate den. Here the family’s history is celebrated through photographs alongside the wine and art. The cellar is entered through a panel below the fully restored existing main stair and via a new staircase that appears to be hung from the ceiling by stainless steel rods. The modern detailing of which juxtaposes against the terracotta tiles that are laid in a more traditional herringbone pattern.


A number of ESD initiatives have been implemented: a grey water re-use system has been installed to feed toilet flushing and irriga¬tion, and the capacity for stormwater collection and retention has been augmented. Several new large glazed openings provide light into the deep plan; one of which is a double height picture window at the landing of the main stair. Aluminium louvers on the outside provide shading and privacy as well as providing vistas onto the gardens beyond. The modifications allow greater opportunity for natural lighting and a concrete slab to the new living areas ultilises pas¬sive solar gain in winter and promotes cooling in summer.


The junctions between the old and new now meet one another with an ease that had previously been missing throughout its earlier renovations. Mandolong House now stands strongly rooted in its past but bravely bears its new interventions in the present and future.




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Categories: House, Microstation

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