COOGEE HOUSE / 2 IN 1
A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE
"What was once a 1920s duplex is now a streamlined family home – a conversion that celebrates the old alongside the new, makes intelligent use of space and brings a little more of the outside in"
– Mezzanine, Australian design magazine
Bed-Study-Ensuite room that redefines a typical bedroom design"
“The stair is our favourite element, especially the illuminated handrail”
– Emma and Bruce, Clients
LONG STORY SHORT
I was the Project Architect of this award-winning house whilst working for Madeleine Blanchfield Architects. I have been privileged to work in a collaborative team of like-minded architectural colleague, clients and builder –they were incredibly fun and lovely to work with.
Nestled in the beachside suburb of Coogee, the clients bought the existing 1920s Art Deco 2-storey duplex apartment building with an intention of converting it into a four-bedroom family house (Alteration and Addition) with a new pool and a new garage with storage (New). The clients placed a high value on honesty and integrity in design – the existing to stay old and the new to look contemporary with no bells and whistles.
The concept of [2 in 1] was adopted. At the front, the existing external stair was demolished as we intended to transform the existing duplex apartment building into a house with a new internal stair (Alteration). At the rear, the existing rooms were repurposed to suit a modern lifestyle (Alteration) before a new, contemporary Living-Dining-Terrace extension was added to and integrated with the existing duplex apartment building (Addition). The old and the new were combined in a seamless manner by a careful choice of cohesive internal finishes – Carrara marble and oak to name a few. Existing flooring, doors and windows were saved and used in different areas of the house. Existing glass doors were also replicated to maintain the integrity of the old rooms.
The new, sun-bathed Living-Dining-Kitchen areas feel somewhat outdoor all year round. There are two vertical glass louvre windows at opposite ends and a West-facing yet well-shaded, expansive sliding glass door opening to ensure ample cross-ventilation. The easy-to-clean polished concrete floor is also an excellent thermal mass.
Coogee House is one with character and flow. It feels fresh and new yet honest and original, made possible by a high level of care and design sensibility. ⬛️
Terence Yong – Project Architect and Documentation Architect