Cooks Hill, NSW
Residential, Alterations and Additions
Newcastle Architecture Awards – 2023 – Entry Residential Architecture Houses (Alterations & Additions)
Architect: James Clarence, Callum Rowley, Chris van Lint
Builder: SMD Building
Multi-use spaces, adaptable furniture, and natural lighting/ventilation are the keys to the success of this project and have resulted in a home that suits the clients needs whether it is just the two of them and their dogs or entertaining a large group of friends and family.
Given the age, location, and context of the dwelling it was important to provide a design response which respects the heritage of the place whilst not reproducing it; rather, telling the next chapter to the story in the form of a contemporary addition filled with light and breeze to suit the Client’s entertainer lifestyle. The resulting home picks up on the northern orientation for entertaining areas and utilises the stair/bridge link as a light well to introduce light deep into the existing terrace.
Relating to but differentiating from the historic terrace houses in Laman Street maintains the streetscape and allows the history of the place to be maintained. By retaining the front of the dwelling without major changes allows the home to retain its heritage character, whilst the contemporary addition replaces numerous lean-to ad hoc additions typical of terrace housing in the area.
The location of the home in a Heritage Conservation Area required careful consideration both in the streetscape and the rear façade to ensure a seamless fit in the context of the area. The front of the dwelling was maintained and the addition stepped away from the original rear wall to allow the form to be visible. The addition contrasts the original masonry building whilst adding a contemporary version of the lean-to additions typical in the area. The resulting form sits boldly on the northern side of the home and contrasts the backdrop of the heritage listed Primary School to the west.
Stepping the additional away from the original building meant that the stair and bridge could act as a light well to get light and ventilation deep into the original part of the home and provide a much more suitable living experience for the owners. The northern orientation of the kitchen and the flexibility of the island bench becoming a large dining table fitted perfectly with the entertainers whilst the upstairs living area takes on different uses at different times of the day. Out the back, the flexibility continues with an off-street parking space doubling as the main outdoor entertaining area.
Engineering was an important consideration in the addition to ensure minimal structure and maintain a “lightness” particularly to the bridge and staircase. Working with the engineer and builder the result allows maximum light into the space and allows the original rear wall of the building to be visible.
As much of the original home as possible was retained to avoid the unknowns of interrupting 100yr old + construction and allowed the budget to be invested into the contemporary addition, removing the ad-hoc lean to, and ensuring all the modern conveniences of contemporary inner city living.
The most sustainable way to develop is to retain as much as possible and carefully consider what is to be removed. In this case we were able to retain most of the original brick terrace and replace the lean-to additions with a light filled, well ventilated addition.