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2016 National Architecture Awards: Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) Award

Darlinghurst Rooftop by CO-AP (Architects) Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions): National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

In this alterations and additions project, CO-AP (Architects) has carefully arranged a new rooftop garden and elegant residential pavilion on top of a pair of early-twentieth-century Arts and Crafts apartment buildings. This extraordinary work provides a perfect example of how we might renovate our cities to simultaneously increase both social density and the presence of nature, within the constraints and opportunities of existing settings and local planning instruments.

A singular principal residence and rooftop have been yielded from one of the buildings without compromising the character, elegance and fabric of the original structures. Careful and subtle interventions open up the original apartments and a shared staircase, introducing natural light from above to reinvigorate the existing interior and connect it with the new vertical promenade. The rooftop addition is both subservient and exuberant, and its amenity is delightful and unexpected. Sitting low and unobtrusive at the street edge of the building, the new living spaces are principally oriented to the north and the city panorama. The roofless rooms of the lush garden connect occupants to the sky, while maintaining a sense of the ground. The Darlinghurst Rooftop is a sublime example of prospect and refuge in the populous inner city.


Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Will Fung (principal architect); Tina Engelen (interior designer); Patrik Braun, Claire Meller (project architects)
Builder Artechne
Engineer James Taylor and Associates
Hydraulic consultant Ecological Design
Landscape consultant Matt Dillon
Site details
Location Sydney,  NSW,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Category Residential buildings
Type Alts and adds, Apartments, Residential
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2014



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Ross Honeysett


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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