If you ever played with a doll house when you were a kid (guilty) or, for that matter, finger-painted a house with a pitched roof and chimney billowing smoke (very guilty), you'll recognise the gable on this Sydney renovation as the classic archetype of home. Dubbed Doll House (for obvious reasons) Day Bukh Architects have adopted this recognisable form to create the look and feel of an individual home, despite dealing with a semi-detached house. And the architect manages to have a lot of fun within that traditional form...
This addition to a dark Federation-era home saw Day Bukh Architects carefully cut, fold and shape the existing to transform it into a light-filled family home. The addition makes the home split-level - down to the living areas, up to the bedrooms. The front three rooms of the original home are retained as bedrooms and a library. An open tread stair means light can shine through to the front of the house from the backyard, drawing visitors into the new spaces at the rear.
On the ground floor is a new open-plan living, dining and kitchen which opens directly onto the backyard thanks to extensive glazing. A bathroom for the downstairs bedrooms is tucked next to the stairs, while a new laundry - an extension of the kitchen - has access to a dedicated drying courtyard. The living area also grabs great north light via a clerestory window above the kitchen.
Upstairs are two more bedrooms and a bathroom which can do double duty for both bedrooms. A beautiful vaulted ceiling was designed to sit at the peak of the gable roof. And because the bathroom has no external walls, a skylight is cut out of the vault to dramatic effect. This luxurious bathroom is crowned with a sculptural bath and a feature wall of times.
The master bedroom takes in views of the city skyline from up here. Slatted screens can open or close to control the light into the bedroom - another reference to a child's doll house. A bench by the window creates the perfect sunny spot to relax (afternoon book and cocktail, anyone?).
From the backyard, the gabled form cantilevers dramatically over the ground floor, protecting these lower windows from the harsh sun, and also creating a sheltered outdoor space.
By using the traditional gable form, the architect was able to give this addition its own identity - separating it from its attached neighbour. By pushing and pulling elements within this form, Day Bukh Architects have created a home that surprises and delights, achieves great passive solar principles and also meets the needs of a modern family. A Doll House has never been so well considered.