Description by architect: Sited on a small inner city block, York Street House reflects a type of urban architecture that is born from contextual constraints and is not only an impressive piece of small architecture that is light filled and spacious, but exemplifies contemporary Australian ideas about inner city living. For any small project and in particular dwellings; the sense of light and the quality of space is integral to the success of the project. Our design response is driven largely by context and we believe that space around the building as well as the views inside and out are amplified in small projects. So, in response to the site there were a number of ideas we prioritised.
Firstly; retaining the neighbours lush Jacaranda tree which sweeps over the fence has provided a delightful outlook for the front first floor bedroom. Secondly; creating a long vista on the site all the way from the front to the rear generates the illusion of a larger block. It also connects the inside to the outside at either end and borrows space from around the building. Lastly the skylight above the kitchen is designed to borrow further space from above allowing the natural light to stream inside to the ground level.
Our client came to us with the small site and the wish list included 3 bedrooms and study, 2 bathrooms and a powder room, lots of storage, plus open plan living, kitchen and dining. What we designed fit this brief, yet with even more space that he expected, with generous bedrooms. In terms of the more public areas in the house, the double height space in the kitchen and skylight near the entry create a unique experience on entry through the front door.
We believe in quality design and the value of clients investing in their own lifestyle. In this instance, what started out as an investment property project quickly became our client’s primary residence. He explained to us that the value of being able to transform a tight block into a spacious 3-bedroom home that is also finished and detailed with finesse is unquantifiable. The owner likes to entertain and so the experience you have in the airy kitchen, dining, living space all connecting to the outdoor courtyard is one of his favourite things about the house.
Even though the York Street house project is built out to the boundaries of the land on some sides, we have intentionally left space around the building on other sides. It is so important to have this space, especially in the inner city. Landscape and outdoor space is equally important to the architecture itself, we designed the spaces so they have lots of north facing sun and the rear courtyard off the master bedroom is bathed in morning sun. The open spaces are private and hidden from the streetscape providing the owner with a secure lock and leave home.
We believe in sustainability in the sense of building for the future and long term, if we can design something that is truly valued and is functional and has quality in its built form, then it will survive the test of time.