"When our clients approached us they had surrounded themselves with contemporary artworks of all forms and beautiful personal photographs from their travels, but it was hard to see anything inside the gloomy little rooms of their existing home. They came to us with a modest brief, not concerned with adding additional floor area and bedrooms but with finding ways of filling their little home with light." -- Carter Williamson Architects
The unusual solution Carter Williamson Architects proposed is an ingenious way to draw light and volume into the standard South-facing Sydney terrace via two sculpted roof forms with a low southern profile.
The tall forms reach up to draw in North light. A wall of joinery is nestled under the lower profile to provide storage and kitchen space under the lowered roofline without compromising the neighbor's access to daylight.
"As the conversation developed we started referring to the roof forms as light cannons, distant relations of those found in Le Corbusier's La Tourette." -- Carter Williamson Architects
The alterations are modest in scale -- adding just 22 square meters to the house. Despite this meagre amount of additional floorspace, the home feels much more spacious thanks to the light cannons' additional light and volume. Existing spaces were also repurposed and reconfigured to create more functional use of space.
"No additional bedrooms were added, rather the existing front bedroom was retained and left untouched. The single storey form to the rear remained as the living space but pushed to the boundary to reclaim the unusable and neglected breezeway space." -- Carter Williamson Architects
A quiet courtyard was carved out where the single story and double story spaces meet. This works wonderfully to let more light into the home and to draw breezes through the living spaces.
Chemistry and Chirality
"When we talk about the Light Cannon House, we often find ourselves talking about chemistry; our clients are both doctors of chemistry and their considered, clinical palette of white and black clearly informs the material palette and spaces of the home. They also introduced us the biological phenomenon of ‘chirality’ -- the concept that explains why the asymmetrical light cannon roof form is pleasing to the eye." -- Carter Williamson Architects
Unusual and Delightful
"The clients embraced the unique scheme with a confidence and trust that is exceptional and greatly appreciated. They accepted the idea of living within a sculpted space and understood that challenging traditional building forms can result in something unusual and delightful. -- Carter Williamson Architects
Light Cannon House
It's clear that there was chemistry between the builder, clients, and architects on this project. In any unusual building project, the client places a lot of trust in their architect. Carter Williamson Architects repaid their clients' trust with a transformed home that is modest in terms of additional space, but is extravagant in terms of improved livability.
"The result is a modest yet spacious, light filled home -- expansive where it needs to be, contained and private where it needs to be, filled with the art and memories collected by our clients." -- Carter Williamson Architects
Carter Williamson Architects also transformed an old cowshed into this modern home. And if you like the idea of light cannons to draw sun into your home, take a look at this light, bright renovation also in Sydney.