Fresh Surry Hills terrace

This project consists of restrained yet transformative alterations and additions to a two-storey terrace in Surry Hills, Sydney. CO-AP’s clients had lived in the house for a couple of years before approaching them for their renovations. The original late Victorian building was erected in 1873 for commercial use as a dressmaking premises, and from 1879 a grocer’s shop. Much of the original building fabric has been altered or removed since the 1950s.
The brief called for more daylight, better overall amenity and connection to the precious courtyard. The footprint of the original house was retained, working within the existing building envelope. Some remediation work was required to provide structural integrity to the new works which included new structure to existing and new attic floors.
A new corner-opening sliding door system allows for the compact courtyard to be absorbed into the new kitchen and reconfigured livings spaces. The original timber staircase has been retained and leads to the first floor bedrooms and refurbished main bathroom. New ventilating skylights allow the sun and fresh air to permeate the wet areas. A new steel staircase winds its way up into the plywood lined attic bedroom and ensuite, which is tucked into a generous dormer window overlooking the city skyline.
Each room has been painted in contrasting muted colours to layer and define spaces. Cool tones are used in the living spaces and warmer tones to the bedrooms. The home-office, saturated in a deep neutral tone, conduces focus on work and provides an alternative environment to the rest of the house when passing its threshold. Timber veneer, laminate and concrete are used for the kitchen. Bathrooms are playful with simple grey tiles and bright coloured grout. Original patinated brickwork has been exposed in some rooms, where former openings in walls have been filled in or cut away, revealing the 150 year history of the building.

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