Gandha Kariappa Terrace

Gadi Country / Woollahra, NSW

Maximising sense of space on tight challenging site.

Gandha Kariappa Terrace

2014 Gadi Country / Woollahra, NSW

The third project for this family, this time with the younger generation.

A young couple purchased a delightful but very run down two-storey terrace house as a family home. The 1870s terrace presented a number of challenges beyond those typical of inner Sydney terraces of masonry construction. It was a timber-framed and clad structure built to the boundary on one side without fire separation to the neighbouring property. Upon investigation, much of the timber framing was water and termite damaged. The timber floor structure was laid directly on the ground. There was a significant amount of asbestos wall sheeting, no insulation in the walls and leaks in the roof.

What to do? Council was comfortable with us demolishing portions of the rear of the dwelling, but due to heritage streetscape considerations insisted that the front be retained. This left a conundrum. How does one waterproof or fire proof a timber building built to the boundary, with a neighbouring house within 50mm? How does one maintain timber walls and floors that are rotten and termite eaten? How does one install and protect a new timber floor over floor joists laid directly on sand without damp or termite proofing?

With some difficulty… we will just leave it at that.

Our design maximises the sense of space on a relatively tight site, providing a new living room that is one and half height with an exposed concrete ceiling supporting a green roof over, and a small private courtyard to the rear. The main bedroom windows, which are screened from proximate neighbours by roof planting, enjoy district views.

“A consistent comment by all that come to our house is how big it feels inside despite its small appearance from the street – we believe this is a credit to Sam’s design”
Suraj & Anita – clients

“We particularly like the floating staircase and upstairs hallway window, as well as the bathroom and its use of stonework and natural light. Sam was also able to provide us with excess storage options without compromising on space…”
Suraj & Anita – clients


2015 Houses Awards (shortlisted) House in a Heritage Context


Houses Issue 104, June 2015
Home Daily Telegraph January 24, 2015

Project Team

Sam Crawford, Wai-Yee Ho, Lachlan Delaney


Horizon Habitats

Consultant Team

Quantity Surveyor – QS Plus
Structural Engineer – Northrop
Heritage – Weir Philips
Hydraulic Engineer – Glenn Haig
Landscape Architects – MWLA
Planning – JBA
Fire – Delfire
Asbestos – Safe Environments
Geotech – JK Geotechnics
Surveyor – Dunlop & Thorpe


Woollahra Council


Brett Boardman