A newly renovated home in Sydney’s Woollahra uses a clever combination of handmade Petersen bricks to create something really special for its owners. In fact, this superb team effort by Sam Crawford Architects and SQ Projects, as builder, has delivered a stylish, yet practical new home that is sure to be enjoyed by their clients for many years to come.
What was an 1860’s stone cottage, with a 1970’s extension, has been thoughtfully transformed in to a stunning four bedroom, four bathroom contemporary home with central and rear courtyards on all sides and private bedrooms on the upper level.
The unique combination of Petersen D34 red bricks, for the garage and overhead guest room on the street front, and Petersen D71 cream bricks, for the house façade at the rear, serves two purposes. It helps to break down the large scale of the house in its totality and creates two distinct stories: one for passers by to enjoy on the street and the other that owners and their guests can savour from the rear courtyard and entertaining area.
In fact, having renovated a few properties in their lifetime, this was to be the owners’ last as they head towards retirement. Still enjoying an active lifestyle, they wanted a home that was easy to look after, while perfect for entertaining friends and monitoring their grandchildren’s whereabouts through open, flat living spaces. A timeless, yet practical design was therefore essential.
With this in mind, bricks were the unquestionable solution for Sam Crawford, Director, Sam Crawford Architects. But they had to be appropriate, and offer something special. That’s where Petersen bricks came into play. “We wanted to do something that was special and that’s why we went for the narrower brick; that was one thing that we thought was quite beautiful. And just the colour and the texture of the bricks takes it from the ordinary into something more special,” comments Crawford.
“I really love the thin profile of it, it adds a beautiful element to the brick also particularly with the red bricks … when put together they hold as one mass even though they’re quite varied,” continues Crawford.
This really is a well-considered design that incorporates an interesting material palette including, of course, the handmade facebrick façade with steel detailing on the outside, along with natural stone and oak timber flooring within. As Crawford suggests, the most outstanding feature of the design is the “flow of space from the indoor to the outdoor on the ground floor, which works beautifully when you’re in the courtyard. It feels like a protected space, but you’ve got that view through.”
But what clearly sets this project apart is the creative Petersen brick combination, and the way the blend of colours and textures creates two beautiful and distinct stories that simply light up the entire home from whatever angle it’s being viewed.
Architect: Sam Crawford Architects
Builder: SQ Projects
Photographer: Ben Guthrie, The Guthrie Project