3 TOWNHOUSES IN BALMAIN / SIBLINGS
NOT THREE OF A KIND
“I’m blown away by how you managed to fit three efficiently planned homes on such a tiny site, all with dual aspects. Absolutely stunning!”
— Architect, AAA ‘At home with the Architect’ self-drive architecture tour participant
LONG STORY SHORT
Our idea is to create three townhouses with security parking that are contemporary and exciting yet completely at home in the historic neighbourhood of Balmain. Considering the incredibly tiny urban infill site, we design the houses down to the millimetre to accommodate the competing requirements of fire regulation and separation, including amenity and utility requirements. In the back of our minds, if we could make this project happen, we could pretty much do anything!
Inspired by the fine-grain character and eclectic context of Balmain, we create two separate houses that add to the sequence of different dwellings along the existing streetscape. Then, we articulate and align street frontage elements accordingly to integrate the houses with the immediate neighbours in a seamless manner.
Externally, we hand-pick materials like weatherboard cladding, off-form concrete base walls, timber-framed windows and standing seam metal cladding to reflect the humble origins of Balmain. We also combine them in different arrangements and colours to give each house an individual character and identity. Internally, the houses come with different views, vistas and relationships with the outside environment, including subtle differences in interiors that reference the suburb’s industrial heritage and eclectic architecture.
We design the houses to have open-plan living areas – we want to offer a number of possibilities for occupation, including home office. Despite the density and site constraints, each house enjoys ample solar access and effective cross-ventilation. Other notable sustainable initiatives include reversed block veneer construction, Low-E and double glazed doors and windows, well-insulated building envelopes, optimised deep soil areas, rainwater tank, on-site detention tank, provision for bicycle parking and clothes drying (hills hoist), and tubular skylights to top-level wet areas. ⬛️
Terence Yong – Project Architect and Documentation Architect