Haines House by Christopher Polly Architect

Haines House by Christopher Polly Architect

Architects: Christopher Polly Architect
Structural engineer: Simpson Design Associates
Builder: Paul King Pty Ltd
Project area: 115 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photography: Brett Boardman
Location: Newtown, Sydney, Australia

The proposal provides a model for grafting a singular substantial volume to an existing single storey semi-detached dwelling while capturing a centrally retained bathroom within the new volume, enabling old and new fabric to enmesh a unique spatial sequence along the length of the dwelling.

The generation of the design entailed two formal strategies:

1. A clear response to place in three acts involved extrapolating the line of the rear roof pitch of the immediate adjoined dwelling to generate the form of the singular roof and ceiling plane, extruding this to the extent of the rear setback alignment of this adjoined dwelling in plan, followed by the extension of an existing low roof level along the unadjoined eastern edge to the new rear footprint – under which a long ‘working wall’ spine accommodates a kitchen, storage and varying configurations of joinery, extending outside to accommodate a second toilet with basin.

2. The retention of the original front dwelling and centrally located bathroom enabled old and new fabric to stitch and enmesh an alternating sequence of compression and expansion, enfolding a series of expressed rooms from the narrow hall and front cellular 3-room layout, to open release in a newly accommodated Living room, followed by a compressed scale shift and downward change in level via an almost secreted passage into the new heightened rear openness of a Dining, Kitchen, second Living space.

An arrangement of fine steel plate supports and highlight windows march along the entire low roof, bridging the high and low roofs and wrapping to the rear to enable access to natural ventilation, views to neighbouring landscapes, sky and natural light from somewhat challenged eastern and southern orientations – while pocket concealed sliding doors extend the living spaces onto a roofed terrace that directly connects to the enclosed private garden beyond.

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