The Mosman House involves major alterations and additions to a two storey free standing Federation Bungalow style house in Sydney’s lower north shore suburb of Mosman. The house is located within a heritage conservation area with strict heritage controls pertaining to the retention of existing fabric and character visible from the public domain.
The existing house had two storeys and is located on a steep site falling away from the street. The upper storey is level with the street to the north whilst the lower storey overlooks the rear garden to the south.
Whilst the expansive sunlit rear garden was visible from an existing rear balcony, the house turned in on itself and neither the garden nor daylight could be enjoyed from within.
The client sought to accommodate their inter-generation family and provide for each family member’s increased need for space, light and privacy within their existing freestanding house. Separate kitchen, dining and family spaces would be consolidated and carefully configured to allow light, ventilation and ample storage. Floor space and ceiling heights would be maximised and the attic converted into a third floor master bedroom suite with views south toward Sydney harbour and the city skyline.
Concept / Response to Brief
The key idea was to create a stunning arrival sequence and capture a cinematic wide frame of the sunlit tree canopy; bouncing the view and light back into a seamless family living, dining and cooking space.
A deliberate effort was made to design the contemporary additions so they were appropriate in terms of heritage character and scale. Accordingly, the front room and the central hallway arrangement typical of the period has been retained and refurbished and the front eyelid dormer is in keeping with the Federation character of the area.
The three storey rear addition is contemporary in design and the copper clad roof extension (accommodating the master bedroom suite) was conceived as a singular element designed to maximise internal space whilst sculpturally dovetailing into the existing hip roof within an envelope dictated by setback and height controls. The interior follows the sculptured roof form as walls and ceiling fold and crease to create a dramatic spatial experience.
Anton Kouzmin Architecture collaborated with Acton & Rumble on the interior finishes palette to create an elegant and genuinely personal interior experience for the client. Each family member reveals their own style in a unique palette of colours and textures tailored for each of their individual spaces.
Alterations to any century old building are not without their challenges; particularly during the early stages of demolition and getting out of the ground. This house was no exception. New external work involved removing the entire two storey rear façade and the rear hip back to the ridge, resulting in an enormous doll’s house for much of the winter.
The collaboration between client, design team and builder was key to a successful outcome.