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Balmain Archive, Balmain, Sydney, Australia

Thursday 15 Mar 2012

Shine of the times

Stephanie Smith + Ken Mc Bryde 
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innovarchi's striking copper addition gives a period house new life in Balmain 

Being in a heritage area, analysis of traditional built forms, usage patterns and development codes led to a strategy of providing a contemporary interpretation of the ever-decreasing volumes often evident in ad hoc additions of kitchens, laundries and outside toilets that were often made to these original structures.

The entertaining space has moved from the formal front rooms to the more relaxed realm at the back of the property. The area closest to the entry now becomes the bedroom precinct and the back is a fragmented indoor/outdoor space.

Access is via a central corridor that extends through the house right to the rear gate. In keeping with surrounding pitched roof forms the new architecture mirrors these triangular shapes. As the addition reduces in size towards the back gate the external native garden landscape is spliced into the informal semi-internal spaces eliminating the need for lawn. The addition retains 95% of the existing building fabric.

It becomes a protective screen from the neighbours, shades in summer and lets sun in in winter. The roof increases the rainwater harvesting capacity and the skylights foster a reliance on natural daylighting. The spaces are naturally ventilated and the roof has high performance insulation to minimise heat gain.

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Bronte House

Balmain Archive



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