SHELF HOUSE

Prior to undergoing its recent transformation, this spec-built home in Mosman featured a poorly conceived floor plan that simply mirrored the adjoining townhouse without any modifications to suit solar orientation, lifestyle amenity or privacy. Bijl Architecture’s scheme therefore entailed a complete reconsideration of the dwelling’s plan layout and spatial qualities, offering a smart solution that involved minimal alterations for maximum effect.

A redundant west-facing ‘cut-out’ was reclaimed and incorporated into the existing kitchen and service spaces, thereby freeing up the floor area available for living on the ground level. A new side entry to the house was created, with an entry hall featuring bespoke London street map wallpaper and views through to the front lounge room and stair. This relocation of the original entry allowed the lounge room to become more generous, flowing out to the newly enclosed front courtyard.

The reorganisation of the ground floor plan has both created a sequence of light-filled living spaces and allowed a more generous and social kitchen, complete with large island bench, wine fridge and prep pantry. A highly-detailed, flexible joinery installation dubbed ‘the great wall of storage’ has been installed along the blank party wall as a unifying functional element, entailing a child’s drawing table, shelving for books and objects, the family fish tank, home entertainment equipment, and crockery. 

With economy in mind, the existing timber staircase was retained and refurbished and a new, minimal glass balustrade installed, with the under-stair space becoming informal seating and everyday storage.

Upstairs, the floor plan has been reconfigured and extended to allow the conversion of the former walkway into a contemplative study space, while an additional bedroom forms a new cover above the rejuvenated rear deck, encapsulating the significant aesthetic, amenity and accommodation improvement of the dwelling. 

 

Photography: Katherine Lu

 

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