Opening to the Elements – Camperdown Terrace by Downie North Architects
Navigating a narrow site, Camperdown Terrace preserves its frontage and opens upward and to the rear, creating a connection to the natural elements. Downie North Architects utilises a refined and warming approach in crafting the expanded home, adding amenity and creating clear, tangible connections within the site.
Both in the extending of relevance and the sculpting of the old and disconnected, Camperdown Terrace sees the replanning and opening up of the existing home. In addressing a contemporary sensibility, the previous home needed to be transformed from its more formal and linear segregated floor plan into a series of interconnected spaces that visually open to one another and encourage a sense of movement and flow. Although narrow and visually restricted from the street, the original single-storey terrace home retains its previous face to the street, and, instead of imposing, the new works sit concealed from street level view. Downie North carefully intertwines the newly crafted volumes as they open from a predominantly private front of the home out onto a more public shared series of living zones.
Located in Camperdown, the new works were built by BCM Aust and ensure the original rhythm and character of the street is maintained. As a contributing heritage row house, maintaining an integral element of the historical narrative was key, while also ensuring a sensitivity to context. Behind the original two front rooms – retained for the natural segregation and privacy they afforded – the remainder areas come together through a more contemporary lens. Through an exercise of disconnection from the street, a quiet and calming retreat feel is created internally, with heightened finishes and detailed junctions brought together to elevate the home.
While the home predominantly draws focus inward, the rear extension aims to open up and engage with the surrounding natural landscape, tree canopies above and to bring as much natural light in as possible. A central courtyard space allows increased natural light and ventilation to be brought further into the centre of the home, while large sliding glass doors allow for the living functions to spill out from onto the landscaped rear yard. A contemporary and warm palette focuses on adding timber for texture and pockets of select colour, while the remainder provides a clean and monochromatic base. Home to a growing family, the four-bedroom, two-bathroom and shared living zones of the house align with a connected living experience, while the separation across levels and between old and new allows for a hierarchy and sense of disconnect as needed.