Proving that beguiling results can come in the smallest of scales, a house on Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia, by local design company Fearns Studio is an effective example of how, when it comes to accomplished design, bigger is not always necessarily more beautiful.
In order to address the challenging renovation of an inner-city Victorian terrace on a narrow plot, the designers at Fearns Studio conceived the Bondi house as a first floor timber tube positioned above a ground level brick box behind what was left of the original building. The added spaces under the old house include a street-facing lounge and a small courtyard that connects a bedroom to a bathroom, which, in turn, are joined by a long corridor that leads from the front door to the open-plan dining, kitchen and living area. From this communal area, stairs lead up to two more bedrooms and a shared bathroom. In addition, a guest bedroom and bathroom were added above a garage at the bottom of the garden.
Skylights allow light into the ground-floor rooms while defining spaces and offering privacy from neighbouring homes. Large glazed doors also break the areas of the house by opening the interior of the house to the garden courtyards. Despite the concrete floors, a feeling of warmth is created throughout the house by the white plaster on walls and ceilings, as well as the oak wood in kitchen units, furniture, windows and doors.