Twelve kilometres from Sydney’s Central Business District is Bardwell Park, a suburb of modest brick and tile bungalows under a canopy of mature trees. Australian architecture practice Tribe Studio deftly reworks and conserves a compact, original 1940s house. The addition is a simple, recycled brick lean-to. A skillion roof slopes from North to south, capturing light and air high in the centre of the plan, then sloping down to present a diminutive face to garden.
Separated from the main house by a pair of courtyards, the addition is built from recycled bricks saved by the owners. They are crudely laid, with an oversized mortar joint, and painted white on the inside. It has a rusticity and simplicity that recalls a strong Australian DIY vernacular as well as recalling Aalto, Lewerentz and villages in the Greek islands. Judicious planning and reworking of the original bungalow is concealed behind the original facade. New and old are separated by courtyards, rewarding the owners with a courtyard and outdoor shower off their ensuite bathroom, and adding to the spirit of unexpectedness and play within the house.
The client: My absolutely favourite place in this house is the outdoor shower. Every home in Australia should have one! „ the owner says.‘ I bathe here every day in spring, summer and autumn, maybe not so often in winter. It is so incredibly liberating to be able to shower out here, with the kids, in the middle of the suburbs – it is something that was not originally planned, but came afterwards.. People ask me if the neighbours can see in but they can’t, they are too short.. and anyway, I like people to talk!
In the new pavilion, rough hewn textures are counterpointed against the smooth and refined. Large sliding doors reveal and conceal toys, work spaces and . Doors slide beyond across openings to create another level of sun control.
The open plan of the new addition facilitates the needs of the family. Keen cooks and entertainers, the kitchen is open to the space. The robustness of material language makes indoor biking and scooting a possibility for two energetic little girls, but in a more serious iteration, the space is acoustically suited to flute and oud performance by the client. House Kalafatas Challita seeks to demonstrate that architecture can deliver enduring beauty, whimsy and a holiday atmosphere on a small footprint deep in the suburbs.
1. Receycled Brickwork
2. Structural concrete floor slab