The clients approached us to design a new home in a heritage conservation area in Sydney’s East.

The existing house on the site was not a heritage item, however its façade was part of a consistent row of houses and exemplary as a part of this larger context.

We felt that retaining the front 2 rooms and roof form of the existing dwelling was the most appropriate response for the tree-lined streetscape, which was filled with similar houses. The challenge then lay in concealing a large and contemporary two storey home behind part of a single storey federation frontage.

To respect the existing building we adopted a folded roof form derived from the angles of the existing slate roof. The abstract space created is reflected inside the house as a dramatic folded stair void connecting the two levels. The remainder of the house is contemporary, light filled in contrast to the original.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe and Robert Walsh