Natural Evolution – Spotted Gum House by Alexander &CO.

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Alexander &CO.
Photography by Anson Smart
Interior Design by Alexander &CO.
Styling by Claire Delmar
Spotted Gum House By Alexander &co. Project Feature The Local Project Image 06

Respectfully engaging with its past, Spotted Gum House extends both outward and upward through a sensitive and knowing lens. Alexander &CO. combines a considered approach with rich layers to create a textural and tactile response to heritage, proposing a contemporary language as a natural evolution of the home’s history.

Located in the established surrounds of Artarmon in the north shore of Sydney, Spotted Gum House sees both the scale and relevance of the original bungalow extended into a relevant present. Launching from the original interwar-era stylings, the expanded home takes cues from the original as it reinterprets the newer elements. The approach takes a three-pronged methodology, allowing each element to be celebrated and conceived separately whilst still sharing a common language and palette. The street-facing original home forms the first element, while the upstairs and the rear additions form the second and third, connected but all definable in their own ways. Alexander &CO. draws from the groundings of the home in such a developed residential area and forms additions that honour the past while appropriately making way for the next chapter.

Launching from the original interwar-era stylings, the expanded home takes cues from the original as it reinterprets the newer elements.

Revised planning sees the original home transformed into two guest bedrooms and bathrooms, laundry, study and sitting room, while the new annexes share a more open and public sensibility. The open living spaces become a social pull of their own and act as transition points between the built and the natural. Modernist influences are key to the new additions, with a muted palette of natural tones and greys forming the base and clean lines inviting a calmness. Complementing the core palette are further neutrals, timbers, stones and steel – adding a diversity and acting to frame transitions between inside and out and between old and new.

Ingrained throughout is a dedication to sustainability and the holistic wellness of the home, both in how it came together and how it functions daily. The clients wanted to ensure the performance of the home had a low environmental impact. Incorporating double-glazed windows throughout and geothermal climate control formed the base, along with ensuring anything brought in had low emissions and that the latest and best technology and innovation was engaged. Allowing for the home to be opened and exist with the surrounding nature and for the landscape to act as an extension of the home also was key.

Spotted Gum House is imagined as its own unique retreat space, carefully orchestrated by restraint and a thoughtful approach. Alexander &CO. proposes a fitting reworking of heritage to endure for many years to come.