Castle Cove House, Sydney Modern Concrete Home, NSW Architecture Photos, Australian Real Estate

Castle Cove House in Sydney

21 December 2021

Architecture and Interiors: Terroir

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

The history of Castle Cove House, a single-family house in Sydney during the last century is one that fuses an evolving approach to our relationship with the landscape with a history of experimentation in residential house design. These two strands have come together most memorably in the occupation of the steep and often spectacular landscapes around the inner harbour and the modes of habitation made possible in the way these houses relate to their site and Sydney’s benign climate.

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

Castle Cove House, Sydney

This project is sited in one of these classic Sydney contexts, Castle Cove, where steep ravines contain tributaries that flow through angophora bushland down to the harbour. The sandstone geology is omnipresent and takes many forms, from mighty escarpments to minor ripples in the bedrock.

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

These landscape tectonics inform the design, where a concrete shell of irregular geometry steps around outcrops and contours, creating an indeterminate form that is distinctively new but also could equally be a strange object ‘unearthed’ in excavation. Either way, the concrete element reverberates with the site geometry while forming a built escarpment that provides a plateau for habitation.

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

The concrete escarpment is roofed in a continuous zinc membrane that folds over to form a smaller pocket to the rear containing private rooms. Both materials will patinate over time, moving again from a “new” to “pre-existing” form.

Castle Cove House Sydney

The infrastructural nature of this primary gesture has in its counterpoint the means of occupying the house through a series of crafted timber linings that enable the occupation of this concrete landscape with a spirit and glamour reminiscent of California’s mid-century houses by John Lautner and others.

Castle Cove House Sydney Castle Cove House Sydney

The resulting interior spaces connect inhabitants with the monumental and wonderous nature of the landscape yet still provide intimate moments for occupation that are so necessary for everyday life.

Castle Cove House Sydney

These linings are further embellished with a number of steel, brass and mirror inserts that are like devices or instruments that start in the practical requirements of occupation, given their basis in linings, benches, windows and skylights.

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

The common thread through each instrument is the further diffusion of the concrete container both physically (in fissures and pockets that increase its porosity) and perceptually (through mirrors, skylights passing through all levels, openings that limit acoustic privacy) that serve to mentally expand the scale of the building. In every case, the instruments serve to intensify the relation between the occupants and landscape so directly established by the primary concrete form.

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

This strong connection to place has also led to passive house strategies embedded in and intertwined through the form of the structure. The basement acts as a cold sink that allows for cool air to be constantly drawn through the main living spaces via floor vents and operable skylights purposely tilted north to draw heat and assist in the convection process.

Castle Cove House Sydney Castle Cove House Sydney

Combined with cross ventilation, generous overhangs, thermal mass, double glazing with internal and external blinds and a hydronic underfloor heating system these passive strategies have produced a thermally stable environment for the occupants that requires
little active power consumption.

Castle Cove House Sydney

Castle Cove House in Sydney, NSW – Building Information

Architecture and Interiors: Terroir
Project size: 510 sqm
Completion date: 2018

Interiors: TERROIR in collaboration with Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design
Interior Styling: Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design
Lighting Design: TERROIR in collaboration with Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design
ESD Advice and Thermal Modelling: Beckham Price – SBE (Sustainable Built Environments)
Structural Engineer: Kevin Mongey Simpson Design Associates (SDA Structures)
Hydraulic Engineer Design: Andreas Heintz – Warren Smith and Partners
Hydraulic Engineer Site: Michael Frost

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

Builder Concrete Structure: Tony Olding
Exterior and Interior finishing: Ed Callanan – Callanan Constructions Builder
Concreter: GD Concrete
Concrete Finishing: Stoneart
Roofing and Soft metalwork: ARC Roofing
Joinery: Rintoul
Metalwork and Structural Steel: Salken Engineering
Electrical: Steve Nee – CandSnee
Plumbing: Innerwest Plumbing
Windows: Vistrosca Sliding Windows and Pivot doors
Skylights: Atlite Skylights
Bushfire Curtains: Greene Fire
Principal Certifying Authority: Anthony Protas Consulting Pty Ltd

Castle Cove House Sydney NSW

Photography credit: Brett Boardman

Architectus

Castle Cove House, Sydney design images / information received 211221

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

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