Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects

Selwyn Residence

Located in leafy Artarmon, the existing house is a single storey brick between-the-wars ‘Californian Bungalow’ occupying most of the width of the block, with a steeply pitched terracotta tiled roof and Federation detailing. Prior to this latest series of alterations, the original house had been through ad-hoc 1970s brick additions at the rear that created a split level in the living areas of the house and closed off the dining, living and lounge rooms from each other and the backyard.


We sought to better engage the house with its site and to establish a distinct threshold between the old and new parts of the home, creating a dialogue between the spatial qualities and uses of the two parts. The design maintains and restores the characteristics of the Californian Bungalow at the front of the site and creates a new, modern addition to the north-facing backyard. This new heart of the home features floating blade walls that discretely divide this are into functionally separate zones within open yet distinctly described living spaces.

Maintaining the integrity of the original structure to the street, the second level of the addition – housing master bedroom ensuite and study – sits discreetly behind the pitch of the 1930s roof line, its contemporary, interlocking forms adding a contemporary dimension to a traditional family abode whilst at the same time begin conform to a rigorous planning approval process. Completed 2009.