Islington in Newcastle's inner city hasn't always been a desirable neighborhood. While the demographic is rapidly changing in the traditionally working class suburb, it's still the right amount of gritty to attract young adventurous types -- like the skateboarding musicians who proudly call Islington House, home. This new house is built right in the middle of Islington's maelstrom. In fact, just 30 meters down the road is a heavily fortified bikie gang's clubhouse. Edgy enough for ya?
Islington House makes the most of the site, brings sunlight deep into the home and shows off the personality of its owners. This is a unique home for a unique couple…
Tough Exterior: From the street, Islington House has a brick facade and concealed entryway.
The still rough neighborhood, a desire to seek out the sun, and a small site -- just 283 m2 -- influenced a design which wraps around two private and protected courtyard gardens.
From the street, a tough exterior skin is constructed from brick. A raised concrete entry wall will become a graffiti wall. A renowned street artist and friend of the clients' has been talked into to creating a masterpiece on the wall.
Splash of Color: Splashes of orange enliven the kitchen.
Custom Splash Back: The kitchen splash back features a printed graphic custom-designed by the clients to show off their favorite musicians.
A Home Built for Skate Boarding: The polished concrete floor is perfect for skate boarding.
Warm and Light Open Plan Living: Bright orange, plywood ceilings and North-facing windows make the home feel warm and light.
Light and Spacious
But past that tough exterior, the house opens up to become a light and spacious home. From the courtyard, the skin of the building changes to a lighter zincalume corrugated iron cladding. Internally, timber, bright splashes of color and natural light defy the home's street frontage.
In spite of the home's small footprint it enjoys a generous sense of space. High ceilings, expanses of North-facing glass and clerestory louver windows for ventilation create a light-filled, spacious feeling home.
Indoor-Outdoor Connection: With large sliding doors and louvers open, there's a great connection between indoors and outdoors.
Outdoor Entertaining: A well connected outdoor entertainment space creates a connection with the garden.
The Studio: A windowless studio attached to the garage makes the perfect music room. It's filled with skateboards and musical equipment -- the perfect hangout space for the owners.
Hardwearing Bathroom: The bathroom uses fiber cement sheet, plywood and an exposed aggregate concrete floor. These are all affordable but hardwearing materials.
Islington House is a sign of changing times for this once rough neighborhood. Young families are starting to move into the area, lured by its proximity to the center of Newcastle, and its still affordable prices. It's great to see that new houses being built in the area aren't soulless, off the shelf designs. If this house is anything to go by, they're considered, light-filled and just as unique as their creative owners.