The modest frontage of the 1890’s brick and tile, semi-detached terrace, located on leafy Rose Street in the suburb of Annandale gives few clues to the modernist interior within. Distinguished architect Don Gazzard was comissioned by the current owner to transform the three bed, one bathroom, Victorian cottage.
One Rose, the three bedroom, two bathroom home was designed and built in 2001 to 2002 by the architectural firm, Gazzard Griffiths. Taking advantage of the slope and northerly orientation of the 253 square metre corner site, Gazzard subverted the logic of the terrace, turning it 180 degrees. Entry is to the side off Nelson Street, between a Kevlar-clad garage and the existing cottage and is framed by a composition of brightly coloured walls and a signature glass block wall.
Its 4.7 metre height of the main living space, that incorporates sitting, dining and kitchen with mezzanine above, was assisted by structural engineers, Birzulis Assocs and hydraulic Engineers, Thomsonkane. "My attitude is a problem solving one, and by moving the entrance to the side of the house and lowering the living area I was able to create a more generous height living room facing north."
Ascending, past the reflection pool at eye level, into the courtyard the architecture doesn’t so much unfold as hit you squarely between the eyes as one enters the unexpected double height of the main living space, that incorporates sitting, dining and kitchen with mezzanine above. The experience is in direct contrast to that of a Victorian cottage.
The architect has not only reinvented the site but demonstrates that heritage can be respected and made relevant for living today. This is a house that allows you to live modern – pity the neighbours in their dim Victorian dwellings.