Woollahra House 11
Sydney, NSW, Australia
The Woollahra House 11 project by Grove Architects presented to studio with an excellent opportunity to introduce their own unique style to the urban Sydney streetscape.
The opportunity to build a completely new house in the heart of the heritage conservation precinct of Paddington and Woollahra, on Sydney’s urban fringe, is a rare privilege and an enormous responsibility. There are no vacant sites in this 150 year old inner suburb, but there are a few buildings, generally dating from the mid twentieth century, which are recognised as inappropriate and earmarked for demolition should the occasion arise. This 250 square metre site was one of those rare opportunities, opposite a small native park to its north and a recycled neo gothic sandstone church to its west.
The client was a mature couple each requiring an individual studio work space, the usual functional living spaces, and a separate bedroom suite for frequent guests and overnighting grandchildren. The lower level features its own independent access and an elegant yoga teaching studio with ancillary rooms, adjacent to the two car garage.
The architecture was required to respond functionally, climatically, and aesthetically to its extraordinary context and to engage with contemporary sustainability standards. The building captures all rainwater into 24,000 litres of storage tanks, provides for all its hot water and space heating via a state of the art rooftop solar thermal array, has no air conditioning, and supports a large herb and vegetable garden run on wholly organic principles.
After winning the 2008 Woollahra Conservation Award the jury was quoted as saying, “The design places itself firmly in the 21st century and forms a reference point to the various architectural styles around. It captures the essence of indoor and outdoor living in an elegant manner, without ostentation and pretence, in the use of subdued materials, minimal furnishings, natural colours and clean lines.”
Ultimately the Woollahra House 11 combines function, style and innovation the create an environmentally sustainable home that introduces a sense of contemporary style to an otherwise traditionalist neighbourhood.