Stealth House, Sydney Home, NSW Real Estate Building, Australian Residential Architecture Photos
Stealth House in Hunters Hill
5 Jul 2021
Architects: Bijl Architecture
Location: Hunters Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Stealth House, Hunters Hill
The recently completed Stealth House is an alterations and additions to an interwar cottage located in Hunters Hill.
Together, architect and client collaborated to establish a site-based logic for the project – while effectively seeking to ‘fly under the (planning) radar’ with significant yet furtive side and rear additions to the dwelling.
The new two-storey addition comprises a standing seam clad folded form that draws the dwelling and site together, with a new pool and cabana providing a terminating view to the ground floor level. The additions augment the dwelling’s accommodation and provide contemporary living spaces with compelling connections to the external landscaped spaces.
Key to the project is its material expression with steel, concrete and timber presenting and developing the folded language of the design and providing warmth, strength and stealth.
What was the brief?
Our clients and their children saw the untapped potential in this modest interwar home in Hunters Hill. Working from home had increased in frequency, with the usual tensions of accommodating a growing family becoming more apparent. The typical residential brief they provided – one of more privacy and amenity – embraced a whole-site approach. For our landscape designer client, the beloved garden was to be retained in its entirety. The site’s natural focal point, a significant existing tree, steered both built form and landscape response.
What were the key challenges?
To achieve the brief of significant yet furtive side and rear first floor additions to the existing house, we as architects collaborated with our client to establish a site-based logic for the project – while effectively seeking to ‘fly under the (planning) radar’. This approach was necessary particular as the design footprint for the dwelling was limited to the existing rear setback line. By leveraging the topographic levels and landscaping to amplify the experiential and spatial qualities of the home, we were able to minimise any streetscape interventions and maintain privacy for our clients and their neighbours.
What were the solutions?
The roof became a natural opportunity to express architectural value and manage physical constraints. Within a site-responsive roof, occupants gain a sense of the sheltering form, how spaces feel, and why. It encourages active habitation, key to the client brief for the project.
Co-designed and crafted by our landscape designer client, the garden anchors the home. Within the semi-undercover outdoor area concrete is both connector and extension of ground plane. Concrete blade walls fold up to seize the balcony. Viewed from the kitchen and living areas, a broad concrete section outlines sharpened pool edge. Enclosed formed seating holds in place with blade steps inviting to the pool. The self-contained cabana is a focal point and expressive fragment of house shielding overlooking from neighbouring properties. The canopy of a retained Willow Myrtle shades expansive grassy terraces.
How is the project unique?
The project’s namesake; the roof form carving out dynamic new internal spaces with only a shard visible from the street – stealthy indeed.
Through iterative detailing and site testing, Stealth House’s standing seam-clad folded roof envelops the spectator, dipping and folding to reveal all planes of site – sky, canopy, interior, shadow, landscape, neighbour, foundation. Micro views puncture the building. The specificity of each fold enlivens the design through the tessellated ensuite; the spotted gum lining boards in the bedroom; the six-metre void over the staircase; and the directive nature of the roof pulling building to ground. Through exploiting qualities of form the roof sculpts dynamic, yet porous and humble spaces.
Stealth House in Sydney, NSW – Building Information
Architects: Bijl Architecture
Builders: Driftwood Joinery
Photography © Tom Ferguson
Stealth House, Hunters Hill, NSW images / information received 050721 from Bijl Architecture
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Comments / photos for the Stealth House, Hunters Hill design by Bijl Architecture, NSW, page welcome