Perched on a headland in Middle Harbour is this 1950s modernist home, which has been renovated to expand and place a greater focus on its many gardens.
Five Gardens House weaves new spaces into old to support open plan living and create connections to gardens on all levels. Three existing gardens have been retained and replanted, including a sunken entry garden, walled kitchen garden and large sloping bush garden in the backyard. A fourth rooftop garden has been created by the addition of a third level at the base of the building, while arched windows on the top level provide a view up to a fifth garden, referred to as The Knoll.
Atop the existing garden, a large concrete awning now extends towards the street to create an entry forecourt and additional parking. The structure continues along an elevated bridge and returns around the sunken entry garden to form the roof for a new living room balcony, entry and bathroom. Meanwhile, a new skillion roofline follows the slope of the land and acts as the ceiling for the open plan living, dining and kitchen spaces.
A new library and master bedroom suite connect to the rooftop garden, along with a balcony that wraps around a significant eucalypt on the site. The balcony is supported by a thin self-bracing bent steel post structure in a trapezoidal form to minimise disturbance to the tree roots. A screen wall, pebble roof and pergola act to provide dappled light under the eucalypt.
A new lower level houses bedrooms and bathrooms for teenage boys, with direct access to the back garden and pool. An external staircase has been extended down to the rear yard, creating access from the kitchen garden to the rear roof gardens. Combined, the internal and external stairs create a spiral circulation system that connects all levels and gardens.
Raw, robust materials were used to evoke an emotive response and help the building blend into the landscape.
- James Hardie: Facade cladding, Hardieflex, rough sawn hardwood board and batten
- Eco Outdoor: Paving, Porphry Crazy Paving
- AEG: Kitchen appliances, oven, cooktop
- Smartstone, Kitchen Benchtop, Santorini Absolute Blanc
- Astra Walker, Batroom Taps And Accessories