Architects: Benn + Penna Architects
Project: Surry Hills House
Design team: Andrew Benn (principal) and Sean Tran (Architectural Assistant)
Location: Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Builder: ADDON Constructions
Engineer: SDA Structural
Photography: Tom Ferguson
Benn & Penna Architects have extended and renovated Surry Hills House, a Victorian-era terrace house located in Sydney, Australia. By the insertion of a delicate steel stairwell, new spaces unfold from light and air. Benn & Penna have created a floorplan that provides an open plan kitchen and dining area that flows out to the courtyard and BBQ beyond bi-folding glass doors.
From the architect: This project is an alterations and additions to a tiny inner city terrace, including new bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, courtyard and living spaces. The design locates the new bedroom and bathrooms spaces above an open-plan living area that opens onto intimate garden spaces at either end of the property.
The Surry Hills House transforms what previously was a dark and unpleasant home into one of abundant natural light and well proportioned spaces. A delicately detailed steel stair rises through the middle of the building and guides natural light from a large skylight above into the centre of the house. A wall of white mosaic tiles lines the back wall of the courtyard, reflecting northern light back into both the garden and rear kitchen space.
The inhabitants are now able to use the entire ground floor as a continuous indoor outdoor space, heightening the experience of leisure activities in the house. The project also provides an additional bedroom and private terrace above for more intimate enjoyment.
Modest in scale, the new built form is a subtle play on the elongation of dwellings predominant in the narrow lots of Surry Hills. The pared back and understated interior is designed to foreground the rich texture of Surry Hills brickwork surrounding the site.
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