Quinton-Margalit Architects opened up a traditional suburban bungalow to the stunning city views, the natural light and the outside garden area
This house was originally a Californian bungalow that was modified over time, with a second-storey addition added approximately 20 years ago. The house had an established but overgrown garden that was quite inaccessible and difficult to maintain. There were views directly to the city, however this was not visible due to the poor internal room layouts and density of the front garden.
According to Ted Quinton, “The client wanted to open the house to the views and to the rear garden, with a continuous flowing space that allowed them to fully utilise the exterior spaces for living and entertaining. They wanted to retain the upstairs bedroom addition with slight modification since they felt it was working for their needs and money would be better spent in the main living/public areas of the house. They also requested a small pool somewhere in the rear yard and a low-maintenance garden.
“The majority of the internal ground-floor walls were removed with the exception of two of the original bungalow walls to the north and west, which still retained the features and character of the original house,” explained Quinton. “The rear garden, with its high retaining wall, was completely removed and sculpted out into a stepped amphitheatre-like space with large stepped seats. An undercroft area extended out from the kitchen space, designed as a winter suntrap and a cool place for summer.
“Some of the special design considerations of the project included the house facing directly west towards the city, which posed the problem of how to capture the view while sheltering the front of the house from the harsh western sun. A double system of a huge 3m cantilevered roof, supplemented by sliding screens, ensured the view could be maintained, with no adverse reaction from the sun even when the screens were back. The screens added another level of protection as well as creating an intimate private space on the front terrace.
“Another aspect of the project was the idea of the terraces, which resulted from the clients’ desire to have full access from the rear top of the site to the front, uninterrupted and with minimal handrails. This was achieved by creating a series of cascading terraces with drops less than 1m, which do not require handrails. The result is a sequence of spaces that can have a range of uses but which also resolve the steep nature of the site, moving up or down through different levels.
“The inspiration for the design was drawn from the site itself and the way one would move through a sequence and the various experiences available. The original tight entry and staircase from the street held a captivation which we wished to retain (in modified form) and dramatise when one reached the top main upper terrace opening into the expansive view. Detailing and form of the landscaped areas in particular were referencing the great Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, who modulated and articulated terraced spaces with elegance and finesse.
“My favourite part of the renovated space is the upper front terrace for its variety of special experiences, light quality and proportions. I believe that the overall transformation was highly successful and captured the core of what the clients were seeking in the house.”
The project was designed by Quinton-Margalit Architects
ADDRESS: 313/77 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery NSW 2018
PHONE: 02 9662 3500, o4o2 433 576
The project was built by: Pimas Gale Constructions
PHONE: 9436 2299
LICENCE NUMBER: 97946C
FLOORING: Kitchen: limestone. Dining: timber brushbox stained. Living: timber brushbox stained. Bedroom: carpet. Stair: carpet. Outdoor: limestone. Other: concrete
WALLS: Kitchen/Casual Dining: masonry and glass. Dining: glass doors. Living: glass doors. Bedroom: lightweight (existing construction). Stair: timber (existing). Outdoor: masonry
KITCHEN: Benchtop: CaesarStone and Nefiko Marble. Splashback: glass. Cabinetry: 2 pack polyurethane
SANITARY FIXTURES + BATHROOM FITTINGS: Lighting: downlights
WINDOWS + EXTERNAL DOORS: Outdoor: limestone/concrete