2017 National Architecture Awards: Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) Award

Annandale House by Welsh and Major Architects Houses (Alterations and Additions): National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Hidden behind a humble facade in Sydney’s Annandale, this project works every millimetre of its constrained site width. The front rooms of the existing house have been carefully restored and visitors pass through a narrow and delightfully enhanced existing corridor, leading to the dramatic contrast of a light-filled, double-height central space connecting to the level below. A retractable glazed roof over this void space blurs the distinction between internal and external space and draws light and air into the centre of the house. Inventive planning allows the kitchen to serve as circulation, spilling out onto the linear courtyard, while the dining area tucks neatly under the hovering volume of the existing cottage.

Landscape is integrated throughout, with a sculptural tree filling the central void and a green roof full of flowering aloe providing wonderful outlook from the bedroom. Elements of the existing 1980s rear structure have been repurposed – brick walls and concrete floors. Internally, materials are gutsy and durable while providing warmth and solidity. Every detail has been lovingly cared for and considered, with thought and rigour. This is an inventive response to a tight urban site with challenges in levels and orientation, providing joy in the details and beauty in the warmth and texture of real, raw materials.

Annandale House was reviewed by Tobias Horrocks in Houses 118.


Welsh + Major Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
David Welsh, Andrew Short
Builder SFN Constructions
Engineer Cantilever Consulting Engineers
Hydraulic consultant SPP Group
Landscape consultant Sue Barnsley Design
Town planner Chapman Planning
Site Details
Location Sydney,  NSW,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Project Details
Status Built
Category Residential
Type Alts and adds, New houses



Published online: 2 Nov 2017
Words: 2017 National Architecture Awards Jury
Images: Michael Nicholson


Architecture Australia, November 2017

Related topics

More award

See all
Will and Co by Alexander and Co. Shortlist revealed: 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards

The shortlist for the 17th annual Australian Interior Design Awards has been announced.

Avli by Tashas by B and S Studio. 2020 AIDA Shortlist: Hospitality Design

In the Hospitality Design category of the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards 45 projects have been shortlisted.

17 Spring Street by Bates Smart. 2020 AIDA Shortlist: Installation Design

Installation Design shortlist for the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Adelaide Botanic High School by Cox Architecture and DesignInc. 2020 AIDA Shortlist: Public Design

Public Design shortlist for the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Most read

Latest on site