- Private Residence
- Lilyfield, NSW
- Peter Tonkin and Ellen Woolley. Photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall
- 2003 RAIA Merit Award - Commendation
Designed by Ellen Woolley and Peter Tonkin, this house occupies a constrained site in a built-up 19th Century inner-Sydney suburb, although the 191 square metre site had never been developed. The extensive sandstone outcrops and a major cross-fall presented a significant challenge to create a dwelling, which would provide acceptable levels of solar access and privacy, whilst capturing the sweeping city views and separating the occupants from the traffic arteries to the south.
The house is developed from a strong southern street wall of glazed brick with an inbuilt pattern in two shades of black. This three-storey wall is a gesture to the public, an abstracted billboard and a rampart, as well as a reference to the vanishing industrial heritage of the area. Internally, circulation is in a one metre zone along this wall and is defined by thick masonry walls, articulated to form cupboards and lighting recesses.
Light is brought into the lower levels of this zone through a clerestory window that captures the northern sun. The circulation zone extends beyond the house as a floating timber entry bridge and a small upper-level balcony.
The northern part of the house accommodates the living spaces and bedrooms, and is expressively timber framed, scaled and detailed to sympathise with the adjoining small Victorian houses. The end elevations open to the views: east to the dramatic city skyline, and west to a small forest of eucalypts on the siteâ€™s rocky outcrop.
The house has carefully resolved active and passive ESD systems, including enhanced natural ventilation with clerestory â€˜breeze catchersâ€™, heat pump in-floor heating and cooling, and computer-modelled sun shading. Low-energy and recycled natural materials are used throughout, with a minimum of applied finishes.