A masterful design by the team at Luigi Rosselli Architects has created an exquisite, liveable home in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill.
Were you to walk past, you would be excused for believing it was a completely new build. When, in fact, it’s a seamless renovation to an existing, well-kept home, circa 1910-1915.
It began as a two bedroom abode over two storeys, and is now a four bedroom home set across four levels, thanks to the addition of a lower ground level and a well-disguised top floor attic.
What the team at Luigi Rosselli has done particularly well is tie the new building in to the existing home, seamlessly, yet with a contemporary approach to the architecture.
Undoubtedly what sets this home apart is its thoughtful design, skilful execution of same, and its superb material choice.
It’s a stunning collection of materials.
More particularly, it’s the juxtaposition of those materials that delivers the ‘wow’ factor most clients will only dream about.
The bones of the house began with painted brick, which the clients wanted to keep. For the new addition, Luigi chose Petersen Kolumba™ (K71) bricks for the base, “for their long, slim profile to add to the horizontal component, which is beautiful in those bricks. And they are handmade, so they have this lovely irregularity you don’t get from industrial made bricks,” Luigi Rosselli, principal of Luigi Rosselli Architects, comments.
This light, slightly creamy brick with a yellow tinge, cleverly references the sandstone at the front of the property, and adds the light, luminous look to the house that his clients were seeking.
With the owner’s permission, original terracotta tiles on the roof were repurposed by Luigi Rosselli’s son, Raffaello, on a project in Surry Hills, and replaced with a more contemporary slate. The roof was extended in a smooth transition with the addition of a curved bay window, built in bricks on the ground floor and finished in rough cast render above.
“When one approaches from the street, you can see that those additions have quite sharply rounded corners. The light and shade with the bricks is great, and the shadow from the eaves on the roof onto the building is quite inspiring,” Luigi remarks.
The rear of the house, backing onto the garden and pool, offers a more relaxed and less composed design. To break up the height, a layered approach is used. Starting with a solid base of Petersen Kolumba™ bricks, multiple large windows and timber-framed glass doors open onto the terrace and garden. Three large irregular brick arches, spanning from one side of the home to the other, are a spectacular inclusion, accommodating the openings.
“The bricklayer had great fun following the forms of the arch and laying the bricks in concentric patterns, and adding the header course, which was one brick and a half. So, he had to be skilful in cutting the bricks. And there’s not much mortar between the bricks; that was a master work of the bricklayer. It took quite a while, but framed those openings really well,” Luigi says.
The first floor continues with large glass windows, taking advantage of northerly views towards the harbour, finished with timber venetians for full protection from the fiery westerly afternoon sun.
The clients couldn’t be happier with their new expansive home. We couldn’t agree more with Luigi when he says, “I love the juxtaposition of materials that we have in the house, particularly in the front with the Petersen Kolumba™ brick and the rough cast render and slate. I also like the arches in the pool area. It’s a very liveable house; I love the textures that the Petersen bricks and the off-cast render and the old bricks next to it create, as well as the detailed timber work on the windows. All of these elements make it a beautiful collection of materials.”
Architect: Luigi Rosselli Architects
Product: Petersen Kolumba™ K71 bricks
Builder: Evolve Building Group
Bricklayer: Vince Brady, New Street Constructions
Photographer: Luigi Rosselli Architects