Balmain House

Renovation of a worker's cottage in Sydney's inner west.

Construction commencing 2018.

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A modest weatherboard semi-detached cottage in a conservation area is to be sensitively re-worked to suit the lifestyle of a busy professional couple. A tiny compartmentalised floor plan is to be opened up so that living, sleeping, and working spaces flow seamlessly into each other, making a small haven within a dense urban setting.

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Raked ceilings and secret sliding doors permit the floor plan to be completely opened up when the occupants are home alone, or closed off and made snug when working from home, or when visitors call. The modest volume of the cottage is made light and airy, with strong visual connections to the garden outside.

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The new living space adopts the pitched roof of the historic cottage at the front. Two tiers of skylights bring diffuse northern light into this south-facing room. Kitchen and laundry fittings are - where possible - concealed, so that a small space remains serene and uncluttered.