The Contemporary Garden House, Sydney, Australia
On a wider than normal site, Garden House is built in an almost Tuscan part of Sydney. Established gardens surround gracious houses with generous verandahs, traditional roof lines and materials.
The house is sited to hug the sloping rear boundary, orienting to the northern sun and a new garden with established trees. The house is a simple L-shaped plan, both containing and extending into the stepping garden. An internal garden court is hidden in the depth of the plan, bridging between the floors and inverting the line of inside and outside.
Governed by a height covenant, the roof parapet line is fixed and straight. The first floor houses the private spaces of the house, with a slightly compressed floor to ceiling height. These private spaces have precise and figured openings in the continuous brick façade.
The mass of the first floor rests on the lightest of support systems, improbably hovering over the ground level. The underside of this looping facade tilts and lifts, admitting light and views to the ground floor public rooms, through clerestory glazing. The brick façade is given a fabric like quality through its pattern, texture and treatment.
The edges of shadows are slightly corrugated by the pattern while strong sunlight flickers cinematically on the surface through the day. The woven brick surface contrasts with the glazed set render of the ground floor.
Designed as a series of archipelagos, eventually the garden will fully enclose and complete this project. Images courtesy of Brett Boardman, Peter Bennetts, Anthony Browell, Neil Durbach.