A Purposeful Cohesion – The Bridge House by Lot 1 Design
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Photography Prue Ruscoe
Interior Design Lot 1 Design
Words Bronwyn Marshall

A familiar tale, The Bridge House offers an extended narrative to an existing inner city semi-detached home through the opening and expanding of volumes. Lot 1 Design combines a considered and sensitive approach in bringing elements of the old and new together with purposeful cohesion.

Tucked into Sydney’s northern shores, The Bridge House is the oft-told story of the conversion of a heritage typology into a contemporary space that embraces philosophies of modern life today. Both dark and spatially inept, the existing home was built for another time and needed to be expanded and opened up to allow the natural in and create meaningful connections internally. While the new works are based on creating opportunities of connection and cross-pollination of functionality, there are still similar ideals of scale and connectedness of the previous home imbedded into each resulting gesture. The new expands outward to the home’s rear, while also upward to add additional sleeping and retreat spaces, all concealed from the street through considered sightline analysis. Lot 1 Design looks to the old for inspiration, while conjuring a fresh and muted palette.

The rear volume generously opens to its landscaped rear yard and sits as a modest and measured rectilinear form on the site.

Built by Richards Building Co and with architecture by Peter Valencic of DWP Architects, The Bridge House is the result of a considered understanding of the site. Bringing light deep into a home on narrow allotment is a common issue inherited with existing houses, and part of breathing contemporary sensibilities into older homes is the connection to light and natural elements. Expressed by way of a double-height void space, the old is held back from the new through an open courtyard transition space. In the process, both notionally and physically, this insertion breathes life and light into the home. The transition moment also allows for greenspace to be brought into the home, adding a sense of calm.

The rear volume generously opens to its landscaped rear yard and sits as a modest and measured rectilinear form on the site. At ground level it opens fully with operable façade elements to allow for the external to feel connected to the interior and dissolve the traditional threshold of the building. The use of muted timber adds warmth to the experience of space, while connecting to the reused bricks as a textural expression of honest materials. An imbedded robustness is expressed through the encasing metal clad form, while a restrained use of finishes ensures a continuity and elongation of the feeling of space and volume.

An imbedded robustness is expressed through the encasing metal clad form, while a restrained use of finishes ensures a continuity and elongation of the feeling of space and volume.

The Bridge House does as its name suggests and links the old to the new, celebrating both. Through key and strategic gestures, Lot 1 Design has opened up and breathed a welcomed lightness into its internal spaces, creating a home whose inside and outside are deeply connected.

Published 10 March, 2021
Photography  Prue Ruscoe
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