A Castlecrag house sees the light


When one half of your client is a German guitar collector, it’s a bit difficult to resist calling this Interwar brick and sandstone home on Sydney’s Lower North Shore the GitarrenHaus. Perched on a steep block with majestic harbour views, the clarity of the interiors had been muddled by decades of ad hoc alterations. Our brief was to rethink and rearticulate the flow of the whole home with its more substantial ground floor level and a renewed lower ground floor level music room and cellar cut into the incline. Intent on simplifying the interior scheme and opening up sight lines to the exterior, all excess partitioning has been stripped back, the roof punctuated with deep skylight wells. Large glazed sliding doors allow the home to seamlessly segue into the view and the subtropical garden surrounds. Nature doesn’t so much come in as the house breathes out.
The great pleasure for us – and for our clients – was that by simplifying the message, the humble embellishments of a Walter Burley Griffin-inspired structure began to take on real grandeur: the hipped and tiled roof, the gentle sandstone arches, and the manner in which the house nestles so self-assuredly in its surrounds.


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