An Old House Transformed Into a Home of Contemporary Architecture and Interior Design (House Tour)

so federation bungalows are really the project homes of their time when labour was cheap and the patent language of federation style was so well resolved we had an architecture that was given to us that had great spatial qualities and organized the plan particularly in those front rooms really quite well

But the bits at the back that always don’t work properly you find with these houses where you get the accretion or the add-ons of you know laundries and kitchens these sort of secondary spaces you just take them off and then we can plug the new building in in that pavilion style where we have this light connection between the new and the old so all those lovely living spaces of kitchen dining and living can open onto outdoor rooms in the rear gardens ashfield’s an inner west suburb of sydney it used to be the part of sydney where everyone was escaping into the big country

houses we’re seeing the rise of the federation bungalow or the victorian villa getting its new life in the inner west turning these cold climate houses into a more warm climate temperate climate sydney appropriate house this house sits in a heritage conservation area we propose all the right things that you need to do to develop with these buildings respecting and reinforcing the old and then having this light plug on of the new bit to the rear so it can be that contemporary interpretation this guy got a b in his bonnet he described this building like a tour man standing at the back of the room gesticulating wildly and it’s really stuck so we’re very fond of the name as an ironic


gesture to those who should know better um but don’t there’s a famous american architect called louis khan who saw a window as more than just this functional device but rather as a way of framing something significant and important and then the architecture should respond to that so we’ve got some carniem windows this window just off to my left which is about being able to be in the kitchen but frame the pool perfectly we have several of those windows here the other windows and doors really come back more into the spatial flow and how the operation of the house works the house does bend around the tree that sits in the center of the block and

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that’s a very deliberate strategy we saw that tree right from the beginning as the pivot point if you like from this very suburban idea of streetscape to this very urban idea but also then envelopes around the lovely northern living spaces that makes the enjoyment of being in the house so much better as you go through you realize there’s many authors that make a house not least the clients and their direction and support but also a builder and how they can exercise their skill and quality and knowing that you’ve got good quality builders really helps the resolution of that architecture but also the relationship with the client during the project we had to collaborate both with the architect

and the interior architect aronton pike to make sure that their vision for the interior and in particular all the joinery and the detailing of the joinery was executed correctly we really love what we do and we really throw ourselves into our work we don’t just build something or look at the drawings the making is actually where you look at the recipe and you consider the recipe and you put it together with love the materiality of the project did arise first from the old federation house towards the front of the building for example the extensive use of slate and then the old timber floors came through into the new area the language in the joinery was where it tried to marry the two together in the sense that the joinery is quite beautiful and very articulate and

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i would say that it has a lot of references back to the more arts and crafts detailing of the old house we like to see that our technique are really makers as opposed to builders thinking about that process of how you put materials together and we think that’s an important thing for how you read and understand the architecture so you see the big moves but when you get up close to it you can start to see the finesse and the detail of how the architecture resolves at its fine points all the big moves are really taken up with ceramic sort of material so we’ve got the brick bases and

slate tops which are really quite blunt or simple materials so where we needed to finesse an edge or do something in a much finer way black steel detailing is a really important fundamental part of the architecture of this building not to use cliche but the hole is greater than its parts it’s all the little junctions the meeting of different materials the voids the light quality the recesses the windows it’s in the coming together of all these elements that creates a delight to actually experience and be in and living every day [Music] the light quality glows it’s not too harsh and just the materials just make you feel happy and warm and entices and helps you live and enjoy your everyday with delight you know too often i think we get lost in this sense of real estate that more floor area equals more spatial quality is really something that architects need to bring to a project to differentiate it from just prosaic building here we’ve deployed that as a void that holds the dining room so the dining table sits under the void has a gallery above so it’s really that celebration of feasting it takes a lot of team members to produce work such as this for example the curved handrail we had multiple conversations and did quite a few sketches to work out where the junctions will occur how it was going to meet the curving plaster you’re putting enough love into it there’s always a resolution there’s always an answer the whole process was very smooth because of the owners belief in the process and trust in the architects and arronden pike [Music] i think it’s important to understand the power of collaboration through the creative process architecture has long held up the singular view of the individual genius that couldn’t be further from the truth of how architecture is designed and made designing your first universe that place that is going to be your home that protective environment that can help celebrate your greatest moments but also close down around you and embrace you that architecture is really important to be special and to be yours [Music] and definitely in the making of it sitting down with builders like the very skilled people are technic and angel to say this is how we want to see the building how do we get there i guess the proudest thing for me is to see clients get really the home they wanted and to embrace and trust the process to take that leap of faith with all the different designers and the builders the sum of the parts produce a greater whole

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