Bismarck House engages with its laneway in a challenge to conventional housing typology

Bismarck House engages with its laneway in a challenge to conventional housing typology

22 Jun 2021 News

One portion of a pair of semi-detached dwellings in Bondi, the Bismarck House by Andrew Burges Architects uses raw materials and sculpted spaces to integrate the house with the garden while at the same time orchestrating social interaction between the public areas of the house and a laneway that runs along the northern boundary of the site. 

Peter Bennetts

The ground floor of the houonceived spatially and materially as a continuous garden between the boundary walls of the site. The brick common wall of the semi to the south was exposed and the new laneway edge of the north rebuilt using bricks recycled from the site demolition.

Peter Bennetts

The garden is formed around the central elements of the plan being the kitchen bench, a window seat to the lane, a concrete structural wall, and a steel cabinet for storage. 

Peter Bennetts

The upper level comprises three bedrooms and is conceived as a solid mass that carves voids for light, resulting in diagonal and oblique viewing lines along the length of the laneway. Light-filled and flexible, the dwelling has been specifically designed to orchestrate many possibilities and uses, both functionally and socially. In particular, by energizing the laneway context, the house is transformed from a typical semi typology.

Peter Bennetts

An over-scaled kitchen window and generous window seat open directly onto the lane, encouraging conversation between users of the kitchen and those in the laneway – either kids playing outside or others passing by.

Peter Bennetts

Outside, a pleated screen is affixed to an insulated, standard colorbond sheet wall. Several prototypes were developed with the roofer to test window integration and transparency. Concrete floor slab at ground level and first are the finished slabs and soffits. Each floor has a hydronic heating coil cast in place

Peter Bennetts

 

Custom designed and locally made pieces are employed throughout, this includes bespoke steel doors integrated into raw concrete and brick reveals, crafted timber screens to mediate laneway activity and carefully selected vintage furniture pieces. 

Peter Bennetts

The garden is both beautiful and hardy, using native and/or succulent species. With no lawn, it is an extremely low-water intensive green space that includes raised garden beds that shelter the main bedroom from the intense western sun.

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