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Balmain House_1, Sydney, Australia

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

Light, white and bright

Architect: Carterwilliamson Architects Photography: Brett Boardman 
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Award Entry

Carterwilliamson Architects have built an airy urban oasis in the heart of Sydney 

Programmatically speaking, the clients for this project required several bedrooms, living, kitchen and dining spaces, two bathrooms a study and a library, but their real brief was simple; after several years of living in a tight, dark Victorian terrace they wanted their new house to be bright and full of light. Whilst the north-eastern aspect of the rear façade provided ample opportunity to flood the home with light, the real challenge of this project was finding a way to control and ameliorate excessive, unwanted light and heat gain during the hot, Australian summer months.

Operating as an interface between the interior and exterior condition, the rear façade is a playful composition of strong, off-form concrete elements which mediate the light from the east and west, and striking, fixed marble louvres that filter and attenuate northern light in summer yet allow it to be drawn deep inside during winter.

In the studio the team were fascinated by the beautiful, ‘honest' colours and textures of base materials like glass, tiles, concrete, stone and brick, which lend their unique patina and characteristics to a design and also eliminate the need for extraneous linings and finishes and their expensive maintenance. With this in mind, the off-form concrete and marble elements used in the rear façade of this home were chosen specifically for their beautiful colour and reflectivity (helping to bounce light into the heart of the home), but also for their longevity. Similarly, the dramatic entryway to the home, and the soaring void wall in the kitchen were lined with hardwearing glass mosaic tiles, which lend to the spaces a luminous quality. For our clients, this home is a beautiful, low-maintenance urban oasis in the heart of Sydney.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Carterwilliamson Architects

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