Double Life House is a sanctuary for two introverts. Hidden within a narrow inner- city terrace in Sydney, the house is tailor made to the identities of the two clients, providing them with a retreat from the outside world.
Retaining much of the existing 100 year old building was important, as was dematerialisation - stripping back, expressing and exposing. The existing aged façade was left un-touched and old ceilings were pared back to reveal the true identity of the building.
Its aged façade keeps the outside world guessing. Once stepping over the threshold, there is a softening of the outside world - a sense of a calmer, quieter realm. Upon entry, a library of black joinery faces you – a disguise for the hidden room that lies beyond.
Like Superman’s fortress, discovery awaits you at every turn. A sunken concrete living room with exposed herringbone struts reveals the true identity of the building.
A stream of natural light invites you deeper into the plan, past the ‘cape’, a red velvet curtain concealing the main stair. The space opens up to a kitchen and dining area detailed with mild steel, concrete, timber and herringbone brickwork.
The north-facing courtyard draws you to a narrow concrete stair that leads you to an additional courtyard. Upstairs, the second bedroom leads you past a bathroom opening to the sky and through to the master bedroom. Mild ‘mannered’ steel frames the sliding door and an existing window perfectly captures the canopy of an old Ash tree.
The plan delivers seemingly limitless space despite the modest footprint. From the outside, Double Life House keeps the world guessing but the interior delivers a true retreat for its owners. Double Life House works with the existing and incorporates honest and unpretentious materials to maintain the home’s integrity, strength and humility.