- Datchett St, Balmain East
- Client: Vanessa Rock
- 130 sq m
- 2 bedroom with shared bathroom
- Heritage Residential New House
The Balmain Rock House is a heritage type building in a small space in Balmain. The client wanted to preserve the sandstone visual look and modernising with current styles, materials and ways of living.
Use of bricks and concrete, although more costly at the beginning, will last longer and need no to less maintenance than other materials. The barebones of the building was stripped to its sandstone foundation and was reused to reduce waste and complement the surroundings.
This is a good example of keeping the heritage look at the front to fit with the neighbourhood look and customising the interiors and rear to suit tastes. There is a juxtaposition of the old and new within the building, using a contrast of the cold concrete and white bricks to the colourful garden in the back and old sandstone, creating a synergy. It celebrates the past and brings it to the present, creating an intergenerational admiration of the space before and now.
Building is split for living downstairs and sleeping /showering upstairs which is a common setting. This allows for future sellability as it is a norm, reducing the need for future tenants to redesign the space.
Normally using concrete will provide a cold and stale atmosphere however the natural lighting is prevalent throughout the property, such as the skylight above dining space and choice of light coloured bricks, which transforms it into a warm space.
The large windows at the passageway from the kitchen / dining room to the rear pavilion and also stacking patio doors from the dining area provide a extra source of natural light which permeates the rooms and becomes a seamless recreational area extended from a family space.
The construction of the building required a strict control over schedules and materials as it is a custom irregular block design which is both visually stimulating and allows for certain views from within and presents a work of art.
Due to the clever combination and decision of materials, shape and design layouts each room seems to be a separate piece yet they form a whole structure which creates a space that keeps on giving which is truly innovative.