Strategically located skylights brighten and modernize this renovated 1950s bungalow.

In the suburb of Castlecrag in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, developer-driven, suburban sprawl has resulted in homes that lack personality and connectivity to their site. One such residence, however, was renovated to liberate it from the constraints of its original, cookie-cutter design.

The site is located within the Australian bush lands of Willoughby Council's Griffin Heritage Conservation Area, which added another level of complexity to approvals process and design.

The site is located within the Australian bushland of Willoughby Council’s Griffin Heritage Conservation Area, which added another level of complexity to the approvals process and design. 

Courtesy of Felipe Moraes Neves

Approaching the remodel with a less is more philosophy, Down North did minimal alterations to make the building existing 6,782-square-feet footprint more efficient and intuitive.

Approaching the remodel with a less-is-more philosophy, Downie North did minimal alterations to make the building’s existing 6,782-square-feet footprint more efficient and intuitive.  

Courtesy of Felipe Moraes Neves

According to Dan North and Catherine Downie of Sydney studio Downie North Architects, the challenges that mass-produced stock houses pose include being “insular and claustrophobic, referring only to their own internal mechanisms, ignorant of family relationships. Landscape, natural light, cross ventilation, and site specific conditions are secondary, arbitrary, or irrelevant.” 

Approaching the remodel with a less is more philosophy, Down North did minimal alterations to make the building existing 6,782-square-feet footprint more efficient and intuitive.

When they took on the renovation of one such home for a family of five, they reconfigured the internal layout to bring more natural light deep into the common living areas, and better connect them to the surrounding landscape. 

Courtesy of Felipe Moraes Neves

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Renovation Sheds New Light on a Cookie-Cutter Home in Sydney

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