Project Description

Paddington House

This 1890s Paddington terrace is located on a small gently sloping site, accessed by sandstone steps that were uncovered beneath layers of render and tile and were carefully restored.

The original ground floor layout was typically L-shaped and awkward at the rear with steps at the side leading up to a courtyard.

The brief to provide all the essential amenities of a kitchen, laundry and powder room in the rear extension while simultaneously maximising the space and natural light is achieved well by cleverly designed joinery and opening up the spaces to provide better visual links and connection between the rooms. A simple material palette of timber, veneer, marble and white polyurethane joinery also assists.

Year 2019

Builder Cumberland Building

Structurals Alba & Associates

Hydraulics
Taylor Consulting

Photography
Tom Ferguson

The constraints of the site, such as level changes, became features of the new house, with the steps leading from the kitchen up to the courtyard forming a low seat. Keeping the raised courtyard meant less engineering was required and the magnolia tree was able to be retained. The difference in levels provides an intimate perspective and makes way for cosy reading corner – a valuable space off the kitchen that is used all the time.

Sculpted skylights were used forming raised ceilings and allowing light into the centre of the house. The insertion of a large opening into the wall and contemporary detailing around the reveals form the portal between the old and new.

The new external parapet wall features white bricks and conceals the sliding doors so that when they are open, the indoor/outdoor relationship of the house is maximised.

The selection of face brickwork to the parapet wall references the traditional surrounding built fabric and the off-white colour provides modernity. A white painted timber screen shed with a granite topped BBQ area works well aesthetically and functionally.

The project is a successful utilisation of space and shows that a small change can transform the entire experience of a house.

It’s nice to see people’s reactions when they enter and note their surprise, especially when they see the large opening out to the courtyard where the creeping fig is working its way up the wall.

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