Intended as the forever home for a retiring academic of English literature, Glassbook House by Sibling Architecture is as much a home for its many paper-bound residents as it is for its owner.
Located in Tempe, within 10 kilometres of Sydney’s CBD, Glassbook House sees the transformation of an existing cottage, following the familiar story of the removal of an ill-fitting extension and the creation of a two-storey extension to the rear. Set on a steeply sloping block, the addition to the rear allows for a better utilisation of the site, dropping to allow for a living area on the sunken floor in order to better connect to its rear courtyard. Sibling Architecture has brought together the functional elements of the brief and cleverly injected a rationality of form to create a voluminous and connected home that addresses its site and adds admirable amenity for its owner.
Built by ADC Builders, in restoring the original cottage to the front, finishes where stripped and refinished, creating a continuation of approach through the home in its entirety. As the home of an academic in the field of English literature, the new works were intended to imbue a sense of permanence and sanctuary. Focused around the practice of reading, the library is the crucial point of the home. Set within the rear extension and bathed in natural light from the encasing glass block wall, this additional space allows for the creation of a connected kitchen and dining space and kitchen above. The original cottage meets the rear at a halfway point, and at this half level transition point a metal and mesh stair connects both upward and downward, with minimally interrupted sightlines to the rear due to the fine material choice.
Glassbook House sees the transformation of an existing cottage, following the familiar story of the removal of an ill-fitting extension and the creation of a two-storey extension to the rear.
Providing both a sense of privacy and opaque screening, the glass block wall optimises its south-facing aspect, allowing daylight to enter the space softly and extend deep into the volume. At night, the space is transformed and glows from within, hinting at the activity through movement and changing shadows. References to the original home are inserted in the form of the flat terracotta coloured floor tile that acts as a reminder of the previously peach interior walls, and the use of blue and warm tones and timber combine and create a balance between the imposed and the natural.
Glassbook House beautifully extends and expands on the humble cottage, tucking in storage and custom library and seating elements to create a purposed home for its owner. Sibling Architecture has created a lantern-esque form to the rear of a piece of the neighbourhood’s history, adding privacy, mystery and a light-filled place in which to escape – selecting a book from the collection and losing oneself in its pages.