Some­one to watch over me

How the charms of an unloved 1960s cot­tage were fi­nally re­vealed

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE -

Not many peo­ple would see the charms of the kind of 1960s yel­low-brick cot­tage that con­fronted ar­chi­tect Christo­pher Polly when he first saw this site at Woolooware. But, he says, he quickly found him­self con­vinc­ing his clients to ren­o­vate rather than det­o­nate.

“It was also about re­tain­ing some sem­blance of the cul­tural value of the old house and its con­tri­bu­tion to the street,” Christo­pher says. “That type of yel­low brick, mod­est cot­tage is slowly dis­ap­pear­ing and I was look­ing to keep as much of it as pos­si­ble.”

He was also con­cerned that de­mol­ish­ing the old house would add con­sid­er­ably to the cost, both in terms of the en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print and the bud­get.

Hav­ing said that, Christo­pher says the in­ter­nal lay­out was unin­spir­ing, at best.

“The in­te­rior was aw­ful,” he says. “The kitchen and the liv­ing area were tiny at the back and the laun­dry was ex­ter­nal. The bath­room was tiny and you walked down a tiny cor­ri­dor to the tiny liv­ing space. There was no din­ing area and the sun­room at the back was en­closed with no con­nec­tion to the gar­den.”

Catch­ing the sun­set

Christo­pher’s so­lu­tion was to cre­ate a mod­est ad­di­tion at the back of the house and di­vide the old and new into pri­vate and pub­lic spa­ces re­spec­tively.

The orig­i­nal house was re­con­fig­ured to pro­vide three bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and an in­ter­nal laun­dry while the new work at the back of­fered an open-plan kitchen, liv­ing and din­ing area lead­ing on to the back­yard. An open-tread stair­case leads to an up­per-level sit­ting room with the po­ten­tial to be­come a guest room, plus a spot to view the set­ting sun.

“They wanted an up­per floor to cap­ture sun­sets, be­cause they’re into sun­sets,” Christo­pher says. “If you look back to­wards the street, they get a view of the rooftops of the sub­urb.”

While the new work is a de­par­ture from the old house, Christo­pher was keen to vis­ually con­nect the two build­ings. So he cre­ated two in­ter­nal court­yards, with large win­dows in the new work fac­ing onto the old house.

It also serves to draw nat­u­ral light into the cen­tre of the house while thought­ful land­scap­ing keeps the con­nec­tion to the out­door en­vi­ron­ment.

“I’ve seen so many ex­ten­sions where the new work turns its back on the old house,” Christo­pher says. “So I made a con­scious de­ci­sion to al­ways have that pres­ence within the new build.”

The site slopes gen­tly away from the street, which was man­aged with a set of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal steps.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.