Freshwater Semi

Freshwater Semi

David Boyle Architect
Sydney, NSW, Australia | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Brigid Arnott
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Pendants and Wall LightsMuuto
Bathroom Vanities and SinksIKEA
External Facade Cladding – Primeline Chamfer 300 WeatherboardsJames Hardie
In-slab heatingAmuheat Floor Heating Australia
Carpet – Bremworth CollectionCavalier Carpets

Product Spec Sheet
Pendants and Wall Lights
Bathroom Vanities and Sinks
External Facade Cladding – Primeline Chamfer 300 Weatherboards
In-slab heating
by Bosch
Carpet – Bremworth Collection

Freshwater Semi

David Boyle Architect as Architects

This alterations and additions to a semi-detached house aim to maximise natural light and aspect into a narrow, 3.6m wide, south facing semi. The front rooms and roof line of the existing building is retained and a new 2 storey extension is constructed at the rear. Living areas are located on the ground level and a kick back stair provides access to 2 new bedrooms and a new bathroom/ensuite accessed via a timber bridge overlooking the void to the kitchen below. Circulation has been minimised so that living and bedrooms spaces can take full advantage of the available 3.6m width.


The roof line has been simply extended up to Council’s allowable building envelope to allow for a 14.5 meter long north facing set of louvre windows set back from the common boundary line. This provides northern light and ventilation into upper level rooms and, more importantly, into the ground level living areas via a double height void over the combined kitchen and dining room. The floor level of the living areas is lowered to increase ceiling height and match the level of the rear yard. The living room opens via a set of French doors through a portal of recycled railway sleepers to a sculptural concrete platform perched within the centre of the rear garden.


Additional windows to the east provide light and aspect into the rear garden and a bank of south facing windows can fully retract beyond the frame of the opening. A timber pergola made from Australian hardwood is set in a sculptural pattern above the rear concrete terrace to filter the light and bounce light into the living room through full height glazing above the French doors. A deep set skylight is installed into the existing structure to provide mush needed light into the entry hallway.


The multiple aspects to most spaces encourage cross ventilation. Any breath of breeze can be encouraged by opening windows on various aspects using the Venturi stack effect. Ceiling fans augment cooling and portable gas heaters are used locally when required.


The new floor is a polished concrete slab for thermal performance, which is heated with an off peak electric in slab heating system sourced through green energy. The structure has been carefully designed to be wholly timber framed with no steel used. This also contained budget and construction time constraints. The frame is heavily insulated throughout and clad with fibre cement weatherboards to match the profile of the existing boards. Windows are timber framed using plantation grown western red cedar and Australian hardwood. A material palette of predominantly white surfaces, set against timber features, create a rich and sculptural play of light deep into this family home. 


Contrary to trend this is a small home at only 150m2. It is tightly planned, retains as much of the existing house as was feasible and minimizes excessive spaces and resource use for this young family of 4 to enjoy the light.\


Material Used :
1. Lysaght – Roofing – Custom Orb + Klip-lok
2. James Hardie – External Facade Cladding – Primeline Chamfer 300 Weatherboards
3. CSR – Internal Walls – Gyprock plasterboard paint finish in Dulux, Vivid White
4. Sydney Woodworkers – Windows and Doors – Timber-framed windows and doors paint finish in Dulux Vivid White
5. Burnished concrete with dry treat penetrative sealer – Flooring
6. Blackbutt hardwood decking with oil finish – Flooring
7. Cavaleir – Carpet – Bremworth Collection
8. Muuto – Lighting – Pendants and Wall Lights
9. Seabreeze Kitchens – Joinery – Plywood + Laminate
10. Kerlite – Splashback -  Large-format Porcelain sheet in Snow White
11. Smeg – Rangehood – Wall-mounted
12. Westinghouse – Oven and Cooktop
13. Bosch – Dishwasher
14. Methven – Tap fittings
15. Clarke – Sink
16. Ikea – Bathroom Vanities and Sinks
17. Amuheat – In-slab heating
18. Blackbutt hardwood with Oil finish – pergola

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