1970’s Victorian House, Renovated to Maximise Natural Light

Paddington, New South Wales, Australia

Extensive renovations were undertaken to this 1970’s Victorian terrace beach house directed by architect Annabelle Chapman. The house was substantially altered in the 1970’s with the removal of all the internal fabric and additions typical of 1970’s ‘terrace house modern’. As the adjacent terraces were altered similarly, the rear secondary sections of the house had no historic references to maintain, giving a generous design scope.

The main concept for the house was to take advantage of the northerly aspect and views and create a contemporary space to compliment the location. The brief was to create living areas that connect visually across the ground floor levels, to maximise natural light into the house and to achieve three bedrooms and three bathrooms into what was originally a two bedroom, two bathroom house.

Steel framed stairs fabricated in Italy span the width of the terrace while creating a sculptural element to the Living room. The stairs extend up a double height stairwell, lit by northern Breezway Louvre Windows streaming natural light into the centre of the house. By selecting Breezway, this provided design flexibility as each louvre window could be custom made to fit the desired space. Powerlouvres were installed up high so they could be easily open and closed when required, and manual louvres were chosen when in arm’s reach. Not only are they a modern sustainable alternative to air conditioning but they add another dimension to the look and feel of the home. By designing a wall of louvres in the bathroom this allows built up steam to escape quickly and be replaced with fresh natural air, while the frosted blades provide privacy for occupants.

The rear section of the house is constructed of four levels of concrete slabs, with polished floors and exposed ceilings and walls to the lower levels creating contemporary clean spaces.

Architect – Annabelle Chapman
Annabelle Chapman Architect