DARCH Tour of Doorzien House

On the weekend, Bijl Architecture welcomed a group of DARCH EmAGN (Emerging Architects and Graduates Network) members for a construction tour through Bijl Architecture's Doorzien House in North Sydney's Kirribilli. 

Doorzien House tour. Photo: Melonie Bayl-Smith

Doorzien House tour. Photo: Melonie Bayl-Smith

Scheduled for completion in April 2017, the project is an architectural reworking of an existing semi with spectacular views of the harbour, featuring a series of key design highlights including glass floors and a large wall installation in the stair by ceramicist Nat Rosin. 

The tour was led by Bijl Architecture's Melonie Bayl-Smith and Andrew Lee, as well as Peter Zammit from SKOPE Constructions, Damian Hadley from Cantilever Consulting Engineers and Rob Loughman from Ground Ink landscape architects.

It was exciting to share the project with an interested and enthusiastic bunch of young architects, engineers and builders – apparently DARCh are so keen they are already pencilling in a second tour once the project is completed next year.

Doorzien House under construction. Photo: Penny Craswell

Doorzien House under construction. Photo: Penny Craswell

Wairangi House wins MBA Award

Wairangi House has been awarded as the winner in the category Restoration / Addition $2Million – $3Million at the 2016 MBA NSW Excellence in Housing Awards. The jury had this to say about the house: “The works carried out over the past 14 months are exceptional. The builder has completed the works to perfection.”

Wairangi House. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Wairangi House. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Bijl Architecture would like to congratulate the builder, Stuart Wilson Constructions, on this achievement, backing up his 2014 MBA NSW Excellence in Housing Award for the Naremburn House, also designed by Bijl Architecture.

Bijl Architecture has worked with Stuart Wilson for over 12 years on a range of projects, and we look forward to collaborating with him on many more projects to come.

More on Wairangi House’s MBA win

Step Down House in Think Brick Awards

Bijl Architecture is proud to have been one of the entrants shortlisted in this year’s Horbury Hunt Residential Award as part of Think Brick 2016. The house extension was built in striking blackstone brick, complementing the simple framed parapet with off-white cladding.

Step Down House. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Step Down House. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Brick was selected for its varied aesthetic and design capabilities and enduring appeal; to create continuity with the materiality of the existing house; and to meet the client’s low maintenance requirements.

On the northern elevation, where the existing dwelling wall and external side entry connect with the new addition, the original sandstock bricks mingle with the Blackstone bricks in an artful pixellated pattern.

Inside, leftover seconds bricks that would have otherwise been discarded were upcycled in the kitchen wall and painted white to provide texture and warmth.

For the full list of winners click here

Melonie speaks on gender equity and architecture at Melbourne Indesign

Bijl Architecture Director Melonie Bayl-Smith joined a number of industry leaders as part of a panel exploring “Gender Imbalance in Architecture and Design” at Melbourne Indesign last month.

Photo: Andrew Lee

Photo: Andrew Lee

Melonie explored the issues of diversity, leadership and responsibility alongside Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects, Gavin Harris of Futurespace, project management consultant Laurice Temple and moderator Simone LeAmon from the National Gallery of Victoria.

The panel discussion attracted a solid and engaged crowd at the Melbourne showroom of Products for People and was part of the WorkLife seminar series.

More on Melbourne Indesign

Video: Bijl Architecture talks NSW Code of Conduct

The NSW Architects Code of Conduct is essential reading for anyone thinking of undertaking a new building project with an architect. Melonie Bayl-Smith and the Bijl Architecture team feature in a new video put together by the NSW Architects Registration Board about the importance of the Code. 

Projects in Progress: Waverton Semi

Currently under construction in Waverton, North Sydney, this semi-detached house with harbour views is being converted from a single-storey dwelling to three storeys, substantially increasing space and amenity for a family of four despite a narrow five-metre wide site.

The new design features a second storey above with entertaining space and additional bedroom, while a lower ground floor with rumpus room will be created by excavating two metres of solid rock to create a space that opens directly onto the back yard at ground level.

A stairway connecting all three storeys will flood the space with light thanks to raked ceilings and skylights, making the most of the full volume of the house.

Bijl welcomes Chelsea Dawson to the team

Bijl is excited to announce architect Chelsea Dawson's appointment to the practice.


Chelsea has 20 years' experience and is registered as an architect in NSW. With diverse experience across residential, commercial, retail and health sectors, she previously worked for architecture firms including Cottee Parker in Brisbane, Rice Daubney in Sydney and TPBennett in the UK, where she was also registered as an architect. 

"We warmly welcome Chelsea to Bijl Architecture," says Director Melonie Bayl-Smith. "She is a strong all-rounder with a wealth of experience gained from working across a range of project types. Our projects will undoubtedly benefit from her sharp eye and aptitude in detailed design.”

More on Chelsea


Violinist Midori gives SYO Masterclass and concert

A true virtuoso, Japanese-US violinist Midori did not disappoint during her whirlwind trip to Australia on the weekend. No sooner had she touched down in Sydney than she was wowing students from the Sydney Youth Orchestra at a Masterclass which Bijl Architecture is proud to have sponsored.

Here, she showed her talent for teaching, perhaps a result of her own experiences learning music as a child prodigy - she began at the age of three and debuted at the New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve concert when she was 10. 

Rather than heading off straight after the Masterclass, Midori was generous enough to give a series of unscheduled solo lessons during the afternoon, before performing a chamber music concert at the Sydney Opera House Utzon room that evening. 

Midori gives a Masterclass to Sydney Youth Orchestra students

Midori gives a Masterclass to Sydney Youth Orchestra students

Her concert featured a program of violin and piano pieces by Liszt, Schoenburg, Mozart, Brahms and Schubert, and was extremely well received.

Bijl Architecture is proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor Midori's Masterclass and is an ongoing corporate sponsor of the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

More on Sydney Youth Orchestra

Midori with Sydney Youth Orchestra Masterclass students

Midori with Sydney Youth Orchestra Masterclass students



Project in progress: Southern Highlands

Bijl Architecture is currently documenting the design for a house in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Named Owls Wood, the property was previously owned by painter John Olsen who over several decades built and extended the existing dwelling in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Designed by Melonie Bayl-Smith and Andrew Lee, Bijl Architecture's proposal rationalises the disparate spaces and volumes to cast a new sensibility to the layout of this sprawling dwelling. This reworking of the house eliminates or rethinks low-use spaces, offers privacy and quiet spaces, and addresses natural lighting while creating better connections between internal and external zones.

The entry to the dwelling has been refined to allow better separation and accommodation for pedestrian and vehicle movements, while view lines from the property have been identified, creating visual connections with horses in the surrounding paddocks and maximising engagement with the site. An existing "chapel" on the property, previously used as a gallery by Olsen, will be converted into an office and library retreat.