If you're an introvert you'll know that the world we live in can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes you need somewhere to hideout. Now, thanks to Breathe Architects, this Sydney terrace is the perfect introverts' den...
Maybe you're an entertainer, so your idea of a dream house would have a large kitchen and plenty of living and dining space for the dinner parties you want to hold regularly. Or maybe you're a keen gardener, so you want your home to feel like it's set amongst the garden. You house should represent your unique personality and be customised for the way you want to live. So if you're a couple of introverts in Australia's largest city, where would you want to live? Double Life House is a retreat for Russell Beard and Stephanie Lamert, one where they can enjoy the solitude of their own company and live their more private double lives.
From the moment you walk into the home, the buzz of inner-city living is reigned in. The walls are lined with acoustic panels and thick curtains help to dampen the sound. The long narrow space immediately feels quieter and more serene.
A black plywood joinery unit contains every introverts dream - a floor-to-ceiling library, while a sunken lounge area provides a space for deep and intimate conversation. This dark, brooding space acts as a buffer from the outside wall, and gives way to a lighter kitchen and dining area beyond. The play on light and dark feels like the light at the end of a tunnel - drawing you deep into the privacy of the home.
Interestingly, the kitchen, dining and courtyard space feel almost like a cafe, perhaps revealing a need for social spaces that can be enjoyed alone or with the company of only close family and friends. The fridge and pantry are both found below-bench, opening up the kitchen to the attached dining area and contributing to the cafe feel.
A narrow stairway leading off the courtyard leads to a terrace off the upstairs bedroom. These intimate outdoor spaces play well to the introverted personally yet enable the home to feel more spacious than its footprint would suggest.
The bathroom is a private sanctuary where Russell and Stephanie can relax and recharge. The shower is open to the sky, separated from the rest of the bathroom by a steel door. What a way to connect to nature on a daily basis. A retractable glass roof can be closed if the weather is particularly nasty.
The architect describes the house as “mild-mannered from the outside and made of steel within," which also accurately describes many introverts. This home leads a double life, just as it allows its owners to. From the outside it looks like any other terrace on the street. But from the privacy of the inside it is a confident and refined expression of the owners' personalities.