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Paddington x2 House by MCK Architects

By Eric Meunier


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The Paddington x2 House project is a transformation of two terrace houses into one.

Designed by MCK Architects, the transformed home is located in Sydney, Australia and was completed in 2009.

The renovation budget was $2.0 million for a final floor area of 4,300 square feet.

Paddington x2 House by MCK Architects:

“Via research and investigation we arrived at a concept of retaining and refurbishing the terraces, maintaining all characteristics and feature to the external skin while hollowing out the insides to allow the new program of contemporary family home.

Floor area is sacrificed to allow vertical spatial movement and connection. Roof spaces become bedrooms and bathrooms, basement laundry areas unite to become a family dining and kitchen area that opens onto a central courtyard space.

Early in the design, and responding to orientation and context, the new family living room was located as a pavilion to the rear of the site to allow maximum solar access and a simple connection to outdoor family space and nearby kitchen at the opposite end of the courtyard.

This allowed all main family living areas on one level with good light and ventilation. A link runs perpendicular uniting the spaces and continues a circulation line to the subterranean garage and rear laneway. This link is sunken by three steps to reduce the impact to the neighbour. It is also setback form the boundary enough to allow a dense garden area to further buffer the edge and in turn create an opportunity for the garden to become part of the architecture and interior spaces.

The treatment of the street facades to the terraces maintains the heritage and is sympathetic to the urban character and streetscape. The rhythm of the row of rear bedroom wings and breezeways is maintained and becomes a strong presence in the new central courtyard room, illuminating at night to reveal the layering of façades and spaces that have been created through the technique of hollowing the inside.

Continuing a theme of creating experiential space that is ambiguous and playful, existing rear walls, casement windows and architectural detail of the old terrace is maintained and juxtaposed against a new double height space that is read as internal, but strangely still external. Part breezeway, to both terraces, is enclosed in clear frameless glass accentuating and adding to the drama of this intent. It was very important to create this dialogue and insert into the new house a strong sense of journey and engagement, recognising, articulating and making available to the user a rich collage of elements, new and old, that make for a more enjoyable day to day usage of the house.

Being a heritage conservation area, the design is respectful and sympathetic with it’s context, while still engaging and challenging in some ways our understanding and perceptions of what heritage actually is and how we are to move forward as architects and 21st century people living in a city, and within a a culture, that is complex and multi-layered, with a need to act responsibly and sustainably for the environment. Our clients were of the same opinion and passionately believe that all aspects of our culture and tradition can co-exist in a 2010 world without any compromise or loss, it just takes intelligent affirmative action.”

Photos by: Willem Rethmeier

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About Eric Meunier

Currently the Owner and Chief Executive of HODYO Design, Eric Meunier's expertise in the design industry spreads over 20 years. He was the driving force behind HomeDSGN's early success, founding this website in 2011. Today, he loves to channel his passion for design into remodeling houses and transforming interior spaces with his keen eye for detail and architectural finesse. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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