Light House

Alexander Symes Architect as Architects

Light House is a revitalised two storey home located in the Sydney beach suburb of Bronte. Located in the Bronte Gully, an area characterised by a dense urban streetscape that steps down to a verdant green corridor at the rear, the original house was a robust but dark single-story brick house accessed via a cramped entry below street level and overshadowed by the neighbours. The aim of Light House was to radically transform the feel of the home while retaining as much as possible of the original structure for environmental and cost reasons. The design of Light House centres on strategies to introduce ample natural daylight and natural ventilation throughout the home, while connecting the interior to the garden at every opportunity.

photo_credit Barton Taylor
Barton Taylor
photo_credit Barton Taylor
Barton Taylor

The entry of the home was reconfigured so that you enter the house at street-level, via a green roof. This arrival sequence establishes a biophilic connection to the garden and gully that continues throughout the house. The primary bedrooms and private spaces have been retained but reinvigorated with updated glazing, skylights, and an insulated high-performance envelope. The communal spaces of the house have been reconfigured to provide more generous proportions with fluid connections to the garden. The garden has been designed in collaboration with Melissa Wilson Landscape Architect with a generous outdoor dining area and swimming pool.

photo_credit Barton Taylor
Barton Taylor
photo_credit Barton Taylor
Barton Taylor

An upper-floor extension hosts the entry, main bedroom, ensuite, and robe. This extension was constructed from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) which was central to the sustainability strategy as it provides a structural system that does not require secondary internal cladding. This efficient use of materials is part of the de-materialised design philosophy which seeks to eliminate waste and celebrate materials in their raw form. All of the new building fabric - including structure, cladding, and linings - were selected for their carbon neutral and carbon negative properties. The combination of maximising re-use, thoughtful specification of new materials,  double glazed windows, insulation, and the inclusion of solar panels, and rainwater tanks results in a beautiful and environmentally friendly family home.

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