The original Federation Queen Anne style house c.1904 has had many families grace its halls. Renovations over this time saw many parts of the house updated for more modern living, however the house lacked a consistency due to the cumulative nature of the changes.
The quaint original cyclone-mesh wire gate and the single storey street elevation set up an expectation of contained spaces with little to surprise. Upon entry, however, the theatre begins.
The house unfolds along a direct line of sight from the front door to the view of Middle Harbour and The Heads. The generosity of space found in the Queen Anne Rooms and view is mirrored in the new Kitchen and dining room that were previously constrained by the staircase to the floor below. Unexpectedly, one now stands highly elevated above the rear garden and within the canopy of a grand old Oak Tree.
The renovations sought to establish a spatial consistency and improve the flow through the house. A late addition to the brief included converting the attic to a home office. This surprise became a wonderful opportunity to embody this connectivity, to introduce light and play into the core of the home. The plate-steel and timber stair floats, twists and steps in an Escher-like way through 3 levels connecting home office to garden. The eye is entertained by the geometry, the unfolding space and the delicacy of the stairwell construction so that the mind forgets the number of steps one has taken.
Four bedrooms surrounding a rumpus room space were accommodated in the ground floor level. The rumpus space now opens directly into the garden. The garden levels were reworked,like the stairwell, to trick the mind into thinking the garden is closer than it is. Relocating the pool the to southern boundary opened up the garden for children’s play as well as allowing the renovated garden pavilion to become part of the connected sequence of spaces.