House in a Heritage Context
Bolt Hole by Panov Scott Architects
2018 Houses Awards
While the site and existing building aren’t noted for their individual heritage contribution or significance, they fall within the fine-grain precinct of the Woollahra Heritage Conservation Area C15 of inner Sydney. Accordingly, this project was subject to precinct and form controls.
The building’s neighbours are the outbuildings of larger, individually noted heritage buildings fronting major streets either side of the lane. The original building (c. 1980) has been carefully considered and predominantly re-used by the architects in a confident manner, but with a light touch.
The architects stated that their aspiration was to forge a small piece of country in the city. The principal changes were the insertion of a central rectangular courtyard into the modest 113.3-square-metre floor area, the deliberate positioning of enclosed living areas on the laneway frontage and the location of the more private bedroom and bathroom accommodation to the rear of the site, away from the laneway. Skilful design has delivered a straightforward working plan of openness, charm and finesse.
By turning the project to the laneway, the architects and the owner have made a contribution to the life of the lane, reciprocated in turn to the occupants of the dwelling. The enormous pressures placed on housing by current rates of growth in the major cities of Australia and the associated challenges of providing quality accommodation in inner and middle suburbs, often in heritage contexts, are amply addressed in this small but significant design.
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