LOOK INSIDE THE GRAND DESIGNS SEE HOW ARCHITECTS LIVE
HAVE you ever wondered what an architect’s own home looks like?
A new book takes you inside 20 contemporary homes designed by architects for themselves and their families.
From warehouses to apartments, new buildings to large-scale renovations, Architects’ Houses by Stephen Crafti looks at the huge risks these architects have taken, using unconventional ideas and materials to design their own dream houses.
One project that stands out is Sydney architect Domenic Alvaro’s vertical concrete home which is on a narrow sliver of land in the heart of Surry Hills.
The recipient of a World Architecture Award in 2011, this multi-level home punches well above its size.
“We were looking for land, however small, to build our first home,’’ says Alvaro, a principal of Woods Bagot, who lives in this house with his wife, Sue, and their oneyear-old daughter, Alessia.
The house is on a former carpark which measures a mere 6m x 7m.
The couple came across the site by accident.
“It was one of those fairly nondescript flyers I picked up at the local real estate agent’s office,’’ Sue says.
When Alvaro did a construction budget for a new house, including the land, he could see the cost being equivalent to a new two-bedroom apartment in the same area.
“My idea was about adding value, looking at the future potential of a disused site,’’ Alvaro says.
“It’s comparable to building on a cliff face. But I was up for the challenge.’’
Alvaro says the only way to build his family home was to go up and it has resulted in five levels of cosy living.
Neighbourhood rooftops, above left, frame the city outlook in Domenic Alvaro’s design while the rooftop garden off the study is worth the climb to the top.
features the Surry Hills home of Domenic Alvaro. The main bedroom includes a rocking chair for reading bedtime stories to his young daughter.