Brick Aperture House

Brick Aperture House

Private Houses
Sydney NSW, Australia - Build completed in 2017
Michael Nicholson, Kreis Grennan Architecture

Brick Aperture House

Kreis Grennan Architecture as Architects

A single storey house in Petersham sits on a small lot in an intact row of period houses. The dwelling presents itself as a freestanding cottage forming a pair with an identical neighbour, book ended by a commercial building and a car park. The Federation-style period features are well preserved and provides historic value of Sydney’s Inner West past. Several beautiful trees stand in the rear garden of the adjoining site, providing a pleasant outlook and shelter from the summer sun.


Within this context, our brief was to provide considerable additional floor space and amenities for the existing occupants. Our design response protected the main volume at the front of the existing house, containing four traditional rooms. The addition is connected with an articulated link under the gutter, revealing the connection through a series of skylights.


Though strategic placement of glazing, the new volume edits a beautiful view back to a historic sewer stack, in line with three chimneys of the existing dwelling. On the opposite side, the occupant experiences a brick framed aperture, opening to the trees extending from the surrounding context.


Positioned on the ground floor, is new bathroom, laundry, kitchen and dining area with a double storey void over. Positioned above on a mezzanine level is an open studio space with ensuite overlooking the dining space, rear garden and trees.


The double storey boundary walls are constructed of local recycled bricks. The internal painted brick walls provide material and colour continuity with the existing dwelling while clearly identifying the new addition. The external walls are face brick with a delicate tapered edge, framing the new building volume at the rear and creating a dialogue with the period houses and the heritage structures of the surrounding neighbourhood, celebrating tradition of masterful brick craftsmanship in Sydney.

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