Music hall house – Sydney

Located in Paddington , Sydney on the end of a strip of terrace houses dating back to the 1880s, the Concert Hall House is a highly personalised response to the clients brief for space where music can take centre stage. Pandolfini Architects reimagined the potential of this compact inner-city terrace whilst providing dramatic interior spaces, reminiscent of great music halls.

A full restoration of the original building was undertaken with as much of the original build being retained and refurbished. Conceived to sit comfortably in its heritage context, the new addition responds to the scale and pitched roof forms of the adjacent houses; the smooth off-form concrete and complete lack of ornament presenting an unmistakably modern counterpoint. A large skylight that spans the width of the site articulates the new and old volumes and allows natural light into the long, narrow site.

The unadorned exterior of the concrete addition contrasts with the sculpted interior which has been carefully formed to provide an optimal listening experience. Pleated concrete walls and ceiling of the new addition have been specifically calibrated for space and the client’s audio equipment; a full-height wall of folded aluminum panels complete the sound stage and hold an extensive music collection.

On the ground floor, a central pod conceals the staircase and amenities, freeing up the rest of the interior space and delineating the piano and listening rooms. The floor level steps down into the main listening area, following the slope of the natural ground level to maximise the height in the main living space and creating a fluid connection to the external courtyard. Double skin, insulated concrete walls form the new addition, providing for excellent thermal performance and zinc cladding deflects heat from the concrete roof structure. High-performance insulation has been installed throughout the original house and its small footprint exploited to provide cross ventilation to all spaces.

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