This Charming House – Erskineville

This little house is inspired by the tiny white houses of Japan with a local terrace vernacular twist. The original one bedroom house, one of eleven identical workers cottages in a row, was a little tired and very dark inside when it first came to us. Whilst it’s not exactly a micro-house at 72 sqm This Charming House, for a family of four (five if you include the dog) is certainly small by Sydney standards.

Voted by the Houzz community as a winner of their Best of Houzz 2016.

  • This Charming House

Entry to living area and screened-off dining corner to the right. Bathroom opens up to light court and void space between front and rear. Kitchen with two-tiered storage cupboards and a utilitarian stainless steel bench.  Looking down the light-scoop, a space that draws northern sunshine into the heart of the house

The added value in this substantial renovation can really not be measured in quantitative area (we only added one bedroom of 19 sqm) but is instead found in the transformative qualities of light and material – improvement to the daily ‘experience’ of the house.

  • This Charming House

Landing at the light scoop. The warmth of Oak floors and handrails anchor the otherwise effervescent while spaces. The kids share a large bedroom beneath the existing roof line. The bathroom in This Charming House is detailed with translucent white-glass – just the right balance between natural light and privacy. Entry screen and cantilevered dining nook / day-bed for overflow sleeping.

Bi-fold doors and louvred windows provide the flexibility to open up the house for ventilation in summer and keep the wind out but let the sun in during winter. The front and rear of the house are bifurcated by a void and double-height light scoop. It is this transitional space that give the house a bright, character-filled heart. A white-glass wall between bathroom and gallery floods the bathroom with natural light by day. The effect is reversed at night where lights in the bathroom illuminate the space outside.

A fine steel-framed pergola structure forms a final ‘outdoor room’ on the ground floor.  Sheltered by this pergola the laundry sits in an extension to the kitchen bench. The kitchen joinery organises the client’s possessions through a combination of open and closed shelves. Bifold aluminium doors stack away to the right and allow this space to really open up and extend out into the courtyard. The kitchen utilises an ‘Ecocore’ Poplar multi-ply with high pressure laminate and expresses the grain along various edges.

Site plan

This Charming house employs a variety of architectural devices to manipulate light and generate interest. Perforated white metal panels act as balustrades, privacy screens, sunshades and safety barriers. First introduced as a privacy screen by the front door this simple dot pattern repeats in various places as the house unfolds.

A built-in bunk bed sits in the void-space above the stairs making good use of extra space in a small house. The desk, also built-in, looks eastward, into the light court. A ‘flappy-door’ at the left of the desk allows the kids a diagonal view through the light scoop, down into the kitchen.

Cross section at the bathroom and light scoop

PROJECT: This Charming House
TYPE: Private House Renovation
LOCATION: Erskineville NSW
CLIENT: Private
YEAR: Completed 2015
AREA: 72 sqm GFA
TEAM: Adam Russell, Prudence Duncan and Brooke Jackson
COLLABORATORS: Cantilever Consulting Engineers
BUILDER: Create Construction
JOB NO: 1324

Voted by the Houzz community as a winner of their Best of Houzz 2016.