As an expansion on its past, Lee House sees the evolution of an 1920s-era cottage home into an open and connected series of spaces that flow generously into its rear garden. Candalepas Associates focuses on a modest approach in sculpting the new as a considered extension of the existing, creating a more outward focus and curated engagement with light.
Like many of its neighbours in Watsons Bay, Lee House combines the remnants of its original structure with newer, more contemporary insertions. Retaining the original street frontage was important to the story of the home; the new works instead sit behind, slowly growing upward and outward deeper into the site. Although a modest sized allotment, its width feels considerably more generous than the other more traditional terrace style homes of Sydney. Key to the brief for Candalepas Associates was ensuring access to both natural light and landscape whilst navigating the existing and surrounding homes.
Originally clad in timber weatherboard, the new and extended elements sit in contrast from the existing and are formed in a more anchored concrete. Left exposed, the refined nature of the concrete finished surface adds both texture and a coolness through its interface with more warming timber elements. The two work to balance each other within the interior whilst framing views outward. The careful placement of lighting and openings also play an important part in how the home functions daily. In increasing the quality of both light and ventilation throughout the day, the home can breathe and passively align with the changing climate whilst the concrete both cools and allows for a retention of heat as needed.
Throughout, the sense of restraint in both forms, linework and ornateness reinforces a sense of calm, referencing an almost Japanese inspired approach. The deliberate reduction in the number of materials applied also helps in binding a story of calm to the new spaces created within, celebrating the home as a retreat for its owners, detached and reclusive from the surrounds. The journey throughout sees transitions from old to new, from closed to more open occupation, eventually landing in the rear landscaped space as a private escape.
The deliberate reduction in the number of materials applied also helps in binding a story of calm to the new spaces created within, celebrating the home as a retreat for its owners, detached and reclusive from the surrounds.
Lee House builds upon its past, ensuring a similar sense of permanence remains and continues. Through the coming together of materiality and an overall reductionist approach, Candalepas Associates has created an enduring home for its coming chapters.