Carefully Crafted – Paddington House by Porebski Architects
Reaching further into its narrow allotment, Paddington House is a carefully crafted contemporary home of heritage origins. Porebski Architects carefully navigates challenges on site to open and illuminate the tightly packed terrace, creating a light-filled series of connected rooms in the process.
In its heritage-rich milieu of Paddington in inner Sydney, Paddington House sees the careful formal reworking of the existing home within the tightly woven urban fabric of the area. Originally built in the 1890s, the sandstone terrace stretches across a slightly sloping site, accessed from steps leading up from the street. Previously covered, through a process of restoration, the original sandstone steps were revealed and become the prelude to the home. While the original building remains intact, the new opens generously to a rear courtyard space, bringing in further light into the home. Porebski Architects composes a simplified approach to ensure both the old and new are bound by shared principles.
Embracing the site’s challenges, the slope of the land is expressed through transitions through the home, instead of concealing or resisting against them. Each space leads into the next through an open flowing approach and slowly becomes more and more elevated as part of that journey. By raising up, the existing magnolia tree in the rear courtyard is able to be maintained and be celebrated as an important part of the story of the home.
A considered replanning removes the previous awkward L-shape arrangement and instead fills in the rear portion as a carefully crafted box of integrated joinery and seating to combine the kitchen and dining spaces with ease. Throughout, overhead skylights bring light deeper into the narrow home, ensuring each space is connected beyond its walls in some way. Raised ceilings also help accentuate proportions and inner volumes to continue the open feel from the old into the new. At the core of the intervention is the creation of a sense of cohesion, where a modest palette of light tones, timber, natural stone and a celebration of natural light are felt throughout the home.