Due to Council restrictions, we needed to excavate the rear of this 4m wide terrace in Surry Hills to enable us to get an extra bedroom and bathroom on the top level of this building.
Leaving the front two rooms structure as original, the Architect built a light-well and staircase in the middle of the building. This enabled natural light into every room of the house. Louvres to the light well at the top allowed for natural air ventilation and thus the use of environmentally, unfriendly air-conditioning was not required.
Underpinning the neighbouring properties to both sides proved tricky, as it was too small to get machinery into work this exercise. All underpinning was hand done and of course, the ground was clay and it rained for the whole term of excavation and underpinning.
Once we poured our ground floor slab, then the construction process was simple and proceeded at great pace and no major problems were encountered.
Leaving the front rooms as original, the Architect built a light well and staircase in the middle of the building. This enabled light to flood into every room from the front, middle and rear of the building. Also cross flow ventilation allowed for us to eliminate costly and environmentally unfriendly air conditioning to the project.
By placing the light well and staircase centrally, gave us a showpiece, on site built, staircase, but allowed every room the full 4m wide size.
Snow coloured heated concrete floors to the rear of the building bounced light around the basement area and gave us our thermal mass for cooling the house in summer and heating in winter.
Recycled Kauri Pine floorboards gave the house the original feel, but a thoroughly modern layout.
A hand crafted timber handrail started in the kitchen and wound up the staircase to the top bedroom, uninterrupted and ties the house together through all its split levels.