carterwilliamson architects rejuvenates sandstone cottage in sydney

carterwilliamson architects rejuvenates sandstone cottage in sydney

carterwilliamson architects rejuvenates sandstone cottage in sydney
(above) sandstone provides a rich backdrop
all images © the guthrie project




when facing the renovation of a sandstone home in sydney, australia, carterwilliamson architects decided to rejuvenate the space while respecting its historic significance. the first thing they encountered was an accumulation of unsympathetic additions that were masking the natural beauty of the stone structure that dated back to the 1850’s. the process of removing excess material, opening up the spaces, and inviting more light, was the driving strategy behind the design. the ceiling was pitched in order for it to reach up over the lounge into the former roofscape, revealing changes of color in the sandstone: a patina of light and shadow resulting from past spatial configurations.

carterwilliamson architects
the backyard is linked to the interiors thanks to floor-to-ceiling sliding doors




where possible, existing apertures were utilized and celebrated: a step in line with the former rear façade now negotiates the short drop between front and back levels. tall skylights over the main bathroom and lounge reach up to the original ridge line, while remaining hidden from the street. sliding doors were used to dissolve walls between rooms, allowing them to expand and provide flexibility. thick sandstone columns provide a deep threshold into the new kitchen and living areas while speaking to the original cottage footprint.

carterwilliamson architects
the calm tones of the sandstone reign around the home




the interior is linked to a rear garden thanks to large sliding doors that open to its landscape. here the restored sandstone wall, comprised of salvaged rock from local areas, shows the marks of convict chisels. on the other hand, the restoration work on the street façade gives the home a vitality and originality that immediate neighbors lack, with timber doors, shutters, picket fences, and slate roof tiles reconstructed to their original form. in general, a calm, warm, and robust material palette allows the richness of the original cottage walls to become the decoration in this modest, yet spacious and flexible home.

carterwilliamson architects
the harmonious result is a combination of old and new elements

carterwilliamson architects
the kitchen and dining space are part of an open area

carterwilliamson architects
rear elevation

carterwilliamson architects
a large window in the master bedroom opens to the night sky

carterwilliamson architects
sliding door in operation

carterwilliamson architects
ground-floor plan 

carterwilliamson architects
first-floor plan

carterwilliamson architects
section AA 

carterwilliamson architects
section BB



project info:


architect: carterwilliamson architects
location: balmain, sydney, australia
project team: shaun carter, lindsey chandler
completed: 2015
photography: the guthrie project



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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