Terrace House – alterations & additions take 2
Despite everyone’s best efforts there are times when a project, or a part thereof, slips through the cracks in Council’s fine planning system. The Development Application process for the Surry Hills Terrace House 2 was one such moment. We hinted at this failure of the process in our recent blog article Refusal May Offend and specifically in the Failure to Agree section. The article was, in part, inspired by this experience. We have no desire to dwell for much longer on this and it suffices to say that is was by and large a failure of communication. Council failed to advise at pre-DA stage that the changes proposed to the cottages appearance from the street would not be acceptable and accordingly the Application was refused.
It was a frustrating outcome, as we (Redshift & our client) felt we’d addressed all communicated Council concerns as well as the code requirements in the DA submission. Unfortunately these things can happen and there’s no practical recourse but we’ve all moved on and we’re now working towards a new DA. Happily, as is sometimes the case with the design process, a chance to revisit the design proposal has lead to a superior scheme. It will be a more challenging construction process and therefore a little more expensive to build, but the client will gain a more delightful house with a full width courtyard. It is, admittedly, still early days. Council are currently reviewing the proposal in a pre-DA submission, but we’re feeling optimistic that they will look more favourably upon this proposal.
As we’re in a sharing mood, we thought a sneak peak was in order…
In order to maintain the front of the existing cottage as is, we are proposing that the new addition will form a split level arrangement with the existing cottage. The new proposal will therefore achieve a more spatially rich and lighter character. It achieves this whilst also accommodating the same rooms as the previous scheme and does so with greater efficiency and utility.
The lower level of the house has been sunk half a story below the existing cottage floor level, accommodating two bedrooms, study, bathroom and sunken court. The sunken court is to be roofed by an trafficable open mesh supplying this bedroom level with a filtered and soft light, suitable for the more insular use. The larger bedroom also benefitting from highlight windows into the upper courtyard. Living areas have a new spatial complexity through the level changes, each open to the other and to their own full width outdoor space. The kitchen makes good use of what was a very small attic bedroom and improves upon this with the visual connection into the living areas and courtyard beyond. The rear studio and garage was refined from the original DA, with more efficient and less intrusive stairs and is designed to allow for future adaptation into a self-contained flat.
We think it should prove to be a lovely little project. The client is excited and so are we. It could be a very happy postscript to a project that had previously had a very frustrating ending. Stay tuned, we’ll be updating with progress should Council respond positively…