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Laura Street, Newtown, NSW

Originally designed as a home for a professional couple, the brief changed midway through the design process with the arrival of an unexpected baby.  The resulting design transforms a nearly original 1920’s worker’s cottage into a contemporary, light filled inner-city family residence.


The front two bedrooms and hallway remain intact, as original, with minor cosmetic upgrades and new timber flooring throughout.  The lean-to rear part of the original house was completely demolished to create a new bathroom & laundry, a large combined kitchen / dining / living space with seamless connection to the rear courtyard plus a new master bedroom & ensuite on an upper level.


From the street, the house looks unchanged and efforts were made to retain original detailing in the retained front portion with the contemporary addition appearing along the journey to the rear of the house.  The typical long, gun-barrel layout of many inner city terrace houses is dramatically bookended at the rear with a massive two-storey void that maximises northern sun & daylight into the depth of the plan.  


Natural cooling & ventilation is achieved in summer by the use of plenty of thermal mass, large internal volumes, high level windows, the ability to open both ends of the house and external sunshade blinds on the north.  In winter the thermal mass is heated by a combination of sunlight afforded by the northern orientation of the void area and supplemented by in-slab hydronic heating.


Status:  Completed 2019.

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