2022 Gadi Country / Bronte, NSW
Bronte Sisters comprises two dwellings; a heritage listed house, previously renovated in 2011 by Andrew Burges Architects, and its neighbour, half of a pair of semi-detached dwellings.
Both houses have been restored and, at the rear, opened to the landscape and physically connected to serve as a multi-functional home for a young family and their international familial network.
Flexibility was a core directive of the brief. Within the main house the former dining room has become a play room with a sliding screen allowing for varying levels of supervision and separation from the living space.
The dining space now sits adjacent to the kitchen, living and rear yard. Original rooms are reserved for sleeping, work and a gym. Upstairs the former en-suite has been reconfigured to directly serve the main and a second bedroom as a shared bathroom. Future plans provide for the smaller bedroom to be turned into a walk in robe / study space.
The semi can be configured in a variety of ways. Operable doors, panels, windows and a series of screens, painted by artist Ash Holmes provide a completely separate three-bedroom dwelling, a one-bedroom dwelling with guest bedrooms for the main dwelling, or an adjunct to the main house providing guest bedrooms, a second study, additional living space and a pool kitchen.
As is often the case in heritage conservation areas, the requirement to retain heritage fabric necessitates the new building identity being revealed in the backyard. The houses sit comfortably within this context. Retaining their individual characters to the street, original features have been restored and sympathetic designs for front fences and a carport have replaced former unsympathetic elements.
To the backyard the design positions the neighbouring houses in a dialogue through materiality and geometry; sharing DNA, but with their own identities.
Rear forms are conceived of as distinct from the existing fabric. Visually separate but sympathetic in scale and material, they read as monolithic forms, with openings bordered by wide steel heads, sills, jambs and pergolas.
On the larger building, these steel elements outline expansive corner openings that connect the building to the large deck flanking a shared yard and pool, or on the upper floor, framing the visual panorama of a view down to the ocean.
In the semi, similar detailing frames punched openings with directed views and windows set back to provide privacy between itself, the main house and neighbours.
A shared detail approach continues throughout with elements such as the curvilinear steel and hardwood pergolas echoed in internal joinery details and geometry. The external cladding is an important part of the dialogue between the houses, Belgian terracotta and cedar timber shingles speak a contemporary language that sits comfortably with timber cladding and terracotta tile extensions of surrounding buildings, the ageing timber shingles taking on the grey brown hues of hundred-year-old brick buildings
Our clients love the inside outside relationship and the connection that can be provided and modified to suit their day to day life.
2023 Houses Awards – Shortlist for House Alteration and Addition over 200sqm
2023 Master Builders Association – Build By Design – Winner, House Alterations & Additions $3.5-$4m
2023 SPASA – KMD Outdoor Spaces – Gold Winner + National Finalist, Freeform Pool over $120,000
Habitus Living – May 2023
Sam Crawford, Jarad Grice, Liam Marosy-Weide, Ken Warr
Build By Design
Structural Engineer: Partridge
Landscape Architect: Spirit Level
Heritage Consultant: Weir Phillips
Mural Artist: Ash Holmes
Interiors Selections: Mina Staples Design