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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.

Hill Top Cottage in NSW, Australia by Luigi Rosselli Architects

 
February 23rd, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Luigi Rosselli Architects

Weaving architectural heritage with contemporary design and lifestyle is a practice that rewards with surprises and characterful places.

In a conservative residential pocket close to North Sydney, a workers cottage perches on top of a hill looking south-east towards striking views of Sydney Harbour.  The idea behind the design was to retain the existing character of the cottage to the front – its low slung and strong horizontal lines – and place a more contemporary two storey addition at the back behind the ridge.  The new upper level is fully clad with CNC routed plywood shutters, it pierces the ample roof plane to the front of the house with a wide dormer window that is curved at the corners.

The “Craftsman’s” cottage style of the first decades of the 20th century was characterised by a simple gable roof with low eaves that ran parallel to the street with a horizontal elevation, the complete opposite to the California Bungalow style, with its gables facing the front boundary. The first floor attic dormer and garage have been designed with stretched and horizontal proportions. The existing ground floor windows have new sliding plywood shutters. The sandstone walls have adopted the same type of coursing and jointing as the existing stone footings of the house, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

The oversized living room window opening is framed and protected by an off form concrete lintel, and a slab of polished concrete cantilevers over the lawn. The “Ox” or “Pompeian” red mineral paint by Porters Paints is a reminder of the original red brick colour of the house, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Internally, the skill of Associate Architect, Sean Johnson and Interior Designer, Romaine Alwill has successfully married the old and the new: polished concrete and the existing dark timber floors, oversized glass sliding windows and the original leadlight sashes.  A semi-transparent perforated black steel staircase cascades down through the centre of the house, from an openable skylight in the roof to the ground floor, allowing generous amounts of light to bathe the entrance hall.

The curved glass allows uninterrupted views off the living room. Off form concrete frames the window, Image Courtesy © Sean Johnson

Full length sheer curtains soften the living room corner window, high ceilings contrast with the horizontal window stretch. The Alwill Interiors furniture selections also play on contrasts of shape and colour with the Jordan “Nook” sofa, Moroso “Fjord Relax” armchair, the “Coast” leather otterman, Gervasoni pendant light and Jardan Armadillo & Co rug, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

The young family who own the cottage hoped to be welcomed by their neighbours, but were met instead with dozens of objections to the design, and a tough council process.  However, with hard work to convince the community and the vision and support of key Council representatives, the design was approved with some small modifications (the addition of steps to the rear façade and a redesign of the garage door).  Today the family can enjoy their views of the Harbour Bridge and have found acceptance in their community.

The Romaine Alwill selected CULT table and chairs provide warmth and complement the polished concrete slab and anthracite “Namadji” painted joinery. The kitchen benchtop is a mill finish zinc, constructed by Sydney Joinery with a bevelled edge. The zinc ages more gracefully than stainless steel, it is traditionally used on bistro benchtops in France where “eau de vie” provides a warm patina, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

This American Oak bookshelf has CNC routed books as vertical support, complete with book spine and bound covers. To the right we can see the first risers of a stair, leading to the first floor bedrooms, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

The stair is the lightwell in the centre of the house, leading to generous openable skylights. The stair balustrade, constructed in perforated steel, allows the light to tumble down, even the upper stair flights are constructed in perforated steel, the layering of the semi-transparent steel sheets create a moire effect, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

From the first floor landing the stair rises to the roof access hatch. This flight is suspended from the roof frame. A Gorter http://www.gorterhatches.com.au/ glass hatch allows access to check and maintain the array of solar panels on the roof, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Sydney Harbour Bridge view from the bed reflected in the Dedece Bertoia “Diamond” reading chair, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

The limed American Oak wall panelling behind the bed provides a textured neutral backdrop to Romaine Alweill’s fabrics and furniture, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Why not have a chandelier in your dressing room? The Douglas + Bec “Y” brass and blown glass light feels at home here. The dressing table is built in the central island unit. Sydney Joinery http://sydneyjoinery.com.au/ executed the cabinet work with supreme craftsmanship, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

This sitting area is in the old house, a smaller room off the living-dining at the back. It is a restful alternative, converted to a study and play area, with a fabric covered pinboard, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Lisa La Pointe artwork “Magi” brings life to the restful dark “Half Masala” Resene paint. The Grasshopper light by CULT and the MUUTO Scandinavian “Around” coffee table, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

An unusual suite of Powder Room and Guest Bathroom, with a mill finish. Matt brass Broadware taps and spouts and Poppham “HEX” encaustic tiles, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

The kids’ bathroom “cubby house” feel was accidental, being located in the existing roof space for convenience. The round window on the north face of the house casts a circular sun spot on the limestone floor. The Caroma Blanc bath introduces the children to the lux life, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

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Categories: Cottage, Facade, Hill House, House, Interiors, Residential

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