In the Western Sydney suburb of North Rocks, a sustainably renovated home embraces the outdoors in more ways than one.

Shortly after architects Belqis Youssofzay and David Hart launched their Sydney-based firm Youssofzay + Hart in 2017, an exciting opportunity came knocking. Thomas and Amber Lowes, a couple with experience in civil construction, sought the architects’ help in renovating and expanding their suburban home.

The Lowes, a growing family of five, had been feeling squeezed for space in their single-story brick cottage, but the couple’s love of the community and the site’s direct access to a forested lake reserve convinced them to stay and renovate, rather than move.

“The new addition encloses a series of crafted interiors, each deceptively spacious despite the modest footprint, and designed to offer a heightened experience of landscape from within an intimate setting,” explain the architects. “Large sections of the facade slide fully away, allowing living areas to merge into the surrounding garden, and for the edge of the bathroom and bedrooms to vanish into the forest context.”

Benjamin Hosking

In addition to more space, the clients, who also served as the builders, wanted to update the home for indoor/outdoor living—a design concept that initially seemed at odds with the at-risk site’s bushfire hazard rating, which had increased in light of recent destructive bushfires.

“It was a challenge resolving the competing constraints of fire-resistant construction with an ambition for openness, connection to the landscape, and thermal comfort,” says Youssofzay.

The brick vents, openings, and chimney flue are protected from falling embers.

The brick vents, openings, and chimney flue are protected from falling embers.

Benjamin Hosking

“The new codes mandated specifics of fire-resistant building construction, so the design process began by working through the code line by line to determine a performance case for all elements of the building. It was important to us that the building not become a bunker, and that we work with the code to achieve a design that matched with our ambition for openness and connection to landscape.”

The renovated home is topped with Colorbond metal roofing with a debris-shedding gutter design.

The renovated home is topped with Colorbond metal roofing with a debris-shedding gutter design.

Benjamin Hosking

See the full story on Dwell.com: This Breezy Sydney Home Stands Strong Against Bushfires

©











Loading...