AIA Architect Award NSW - single housing 2006
" The existing late 19th century house is within the Hill Heritage Conservation Area of Newcastle, with 180 degree views to parks, the Pacific Ocean to the northeast and the working port of Newcastle. Although designated as a contributory element of the streetscape, little of the late Victorian detailing of the house remained. The existing house occupied the whole of its 6m x 13m site. The garden had been built out with subsequent additions.
In the new design the reworking of the house was extensive. The Living areas are inverted in section and located on the upper level around a glass-floored courtyard. Open to the sky, the small courtyard - just 3m x 3.5m – clarifies the circulation, allows maximum use of the space, invites winter sun and almost explodes the perception of space. Glass sliding doors around the courtyard retract fully to further extend the ways that the space may be conceived and used. The original timber roof structure over the living space has been revealed and strengthened by new steel portal frames.
The original timber roof structure over the living space has been revealed and strengthened by new steel portal frames. The dark rustic quality of the old rafters, revealed by removing the old ceilings, contrasts with the new honey-coloured timbers and subtly reveals the play of new and old. Similarly, the pattern of new openings - designed to take advantage of the views, cooling breezes and northerly aspect – clearly and unselfconsciously expresses the reworking that has occurred. At the lower level, which is bounded by the footpath on one side and the driveway of a neighbouring property on the other, the sills of the openings are relatively high to provide privacy to the bedrooms. Along the side walls, the window sash and screens ingeniously slide into the wall cavity.
The bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor are simple compartmentalized spaces. Filtered light from the glazed courtyard above gives the rooms a special quality that the constrained site would not otherwise allow." - Jury report