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.
Morrison House in Sydney, Australia by Chris Elliott Architects
July 16th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Chris Elliott Architects
The concept for this house renovation is simple -‐ a protected and private timber box sits on top of a glass box that dissolves the boundary between house and garden.
The rear of house was a collection of long, narrow, dismal, poky, dark rooms with no view or connection to the garden. There was one small spot of sun – on the back step.
All of this was demolished to make way for a large, airy, light and sunny space containing living, dining and kitchen facilities. This new space enjoys extensive views of the greenery in the garden, the sky and a glimpse of the ocean.
Many alternate configurations were explored before finally settling on one that provides a very efficient use of the space. Stepping down two steps to the living area gave the main space a high ceiling and mediates between the level of the front of the house and the rear garden. The staircase was kept on the old ground level so it could run north south in one straight line thereby minimising the intrusion into the new living space. A small pantry/storage and laundry was inserted under the stair.
Large sliding doors in the living room open up to a wrap-‐around timber deck that hovers slightly above the rear garden and features a built-in barbeque, a second outdoor cooking area. Under the deck are two water-storage tanks.
The second floor, a cedar-‐clad box, is supported by two uncoated steel columns and contains two new large bedrooms, a bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. The second bedroom has access to storage in the old roof space. The master bedroom enjoys pleasant ocean and rooftop views to the east and north and the sliding doors open to create the effect of a balcony and excellent cross ventilation. An all blue tiled bathroom evokes a refreshing underwater cave.
Sustainability features include passive solar -‐ horizontal windows on the 2nd floor allow the entry of winter sunshine while blocking summer sun. They are placed at eye level to protect the privacy of the neighbours whilst and also providing views to the North. The thermal mass of the raw concrete living area floor creates a stable temperature. Local materials include spotted gum floorboards and decking.
Clever features create the illusion of even more space -‐ recessed curtain tracks, transparent curtains, recessed handles and light tracks, no shower screen in the bathroom.
By careful spatial configuration the clients received a unique architect designed home, more space, light and sun, and all for less than the price of an ‘off the shelf’ commercial plan. An efficient layout has transformed family living.
ABOUT CHRIS ELLIOTT ARCHITECTS
Sydney-‐based Chris Elliott Architects, established in 1992, are committed to the opportunities provided by new technologies whilst respectful of the natural and heritage qualities of place. Their work includes residential and commercial projects, and a special interest in larger scale architectural and urban design. They believe the layering of different periods in a city, rather than replacement of the old with the singular statement, generates richness and beauty in built form.
Elliott studied at UNSW Sydney and the Architectural Association UK.
CEA was a finalist in the international competition for Federation Square, Melbourne; won “Visions for Green Square” a national ideas competition, Sydney; was a third prize winner for “Re-‐Public” Park for the Homebush Bay Brickpit, Sydney; and Seacliff House won an AIA commendation in 2012. CEA was named the Best Small Design Studio in the Sydney Design Awards 2013.
Contact Chris Elliott Architects