The Belmont Street Residence has been extended to create a private courtyard sanctuary within the inner city suburb of Alexandria. The existing bungalow has been substantially retained and the cellular room arrangement accommodates entry and bedroom spaces. New work establishes a series of platforms for living, dining and entertaining that offer different levels of interaction with, and relationship to, the main courtyard space. The elevated living room is extended into the courtyard via a covered deck. The deck, in turn, provides protection for an integrated hutch for the clients’ pet rabbits as well as access to a raised studio space. The studio offers a sculptural backdrop to the courtyard and mitigates overlooking from the warehouse across the lane. A new walk through robe and ensuite extends over the kitchen and features a high glass beacon that frames the view of the building from within the courtyard. The main architectural elements create a dialogue of interconnecting spaces, colours and textures.
It has been featured in several leading architectural magazines and publications including Houses, Architecture Bulletin, Sydney Morning Herald Domain, Sun Herald Home on Sunday, O2+Pol Oxygen Design Directory and 150 Best House Ideas. It has been included in a series of public open houses tours organised by the Australian Institute of Architects and was showcased in the 2011 Channel 10 TV programme The Renovators.
NSW AIA Jury Citation:
With limitations on both budget and land, this clever renovation in Alexandria displays commendable inventiveness and confidence. This residence extends to the rear of a single-storey bungalow with the insertion of a series of platforms for living, dining and working that offer different levels of interaction with the main courtyard space and studio. This ingenious use of a level difference in an otherwise dead-flat area creates a feast of interesting spacial interactions.
The existing building has been fully integrated into the new and discretely maintains its streetscape quality. The rear lane façade containing the new studio and garage sits boldly yet with discretion. Strong use of colour and rich detailing in the new work has added a playful feel to a very successful architectural solution.