The brief called for substantial alterations and additions to a dilapidated Victorian semi-detached masonry terrace house in Newtown, Sydney. The retention of the front portion of the original dwelling was required for reasons of heritage value and economy – this volume then served as an excellent platform from which to maximise the site’s best characteristics, being its orientation, plot length, and fall. These qualities allowed the brief to develop, including an upper floor bedroom zone,  a ground floor open plan living space with accompanying service spaces, and an outdoor entertaining area that would flow readily into the rear garden area.  

The design approach for the project was to graft the new two-storey addition onto the existing dwelling by latching onto the roof form and building a lower ground floor right down to the natural ground level. A new louvred central stair void connects the three split levels, driving substantial natural light and ventilation deep into the dwelling. Utilising the existing roof space to create a new main bedroom, the upper level also contains another bedroom and new bathroom.

On the lower level, a generous open plan kitchen, living and dining space transforms the terrace house, which flows out to an open deck area perched just above the garden area. Smart storage and utility spaces characterise the project with a new laundry / shower room sitting neatly between the kitchen and upper stair, whilst a bike store and water tank nestle under the stair and in the external service nook.  

A contemporary material language is employed, with insulated pre-finished metal panels providing a prudent low-maintenance external surface to the entire addition. UPVC windows, thermally performative glazing, high rated insulation, and other integrated sustainable design features were also included in the specification of the design.

Working with Melonie and her team to design and gain council approval for my complete house rebuild was a tremendous pleasure. Every dollar spent was worth twice over in the quality of service and the practical design that made the building phase occur surprisingly smoothly and in budget.
— Alex Van Vucht, client