A 1980s semi-detached house within walking distance of Bondi Beach acted as the canvas for Josephine Hurley Architecture. With both client and architect drawn to the allure of the location, North Bondi House was transformed with practicality, comfort and longevity as foundations for the design.
As a young family consisting of three children and two dogs, the clients wished to create a beautiful family home that would stand the test of time. The house needed to be robust enough to facilitate everyday living, but it also needed a softer elegance. The design was also informed by the need to better connect with the garden on the lower level and to improve natural ventilation and maximise natural light. Additionally, it needed to be pragmatic enough to include adequate storage for such a young family, minimising clutter in order to provide a sense of calm.
To achieve the brief, Josephine Hurley Architecture set about first gutting the house, allowing the interiors to not only be reimagined but achieve a better use of space in what is a compact envelope. A restrained material palette was selected to create a sense of timelessness and calm inherent to the home. Terrazzo in soft grey tones, oak and v-groove joinery create warmth and enduring character, with a tactile quality.
Highly restrictive planning controls meant that the renovation did not result in an increased building footprint. Instead, the elevated kitchen and dining room allow for full visibility and a strong connection with the outdoors. This is emphasised in large part thanks fully retractable glass doors and timber bleachers that step down into the garden. Similarly, bay windows to the children’s first floor bedroom offer glimpses of Bondi Beach in the distance as well as garden views below, creating a sense of sanctuary. Meanwhile, living and dining areas are designed to a human scale, making family gatherings possible thanks to the improvements to the floor plan.
North Bondi House achieves its aim of providing a clutter-free, bright and naturally ventilated family home, comfortable for five people to inhabit. The modification of the rear building form and cosmetic touches to the street façade beautifully complement the environment in which the house sits, thanks in no small part to the subtlety in the architects’ response to the brief. The result is a calming and elegant backdrop that enhances the experience of beachside living.