The Peekaboo House perfectly demonstrates how spatial constraints can in fact become creative opportunities. A thoughtful renovation by Carter Williamson Architects extended the pre-existing cottage’s square footprint, to allow for a courtyard and increased engagement with the yard. The striking new addition is separated into three areas – living, kitchen and dining, distinguished by a triangular steel staircase, which meets a marble plinth (that doubles as an entertainment unit), creating a sculptural centrepiece that also acts to define each zone.
Architect Shaun Carter describes that the clients wanted ‘a clean, open and light-filled space.’ The ground floor of the home is given an expansive feel through its enveloping glass walls and open plan layout, and the inclusion of double-height volumes where possible. The architects explain how the wrapping of the ground floor with stackable sliding doors means that ‘living space can spill out seamlessly into the garden, creating a larger room, and even when closed maintains this connection.’
The house gets its very sweet name from the large window box that hangs from the first floor addition, and peeks out unexpectedly from the rear extension. A seat is nestled into the window – a hot contender for our favourite book nook of the year! This idyllic spot is accessed via a curved bridge, which frames the void space below, and provides a space of quiet and semi-isolation at the window seat, in contrast to the open plan ground floor.
Shaun, Carter Williamson’s principal architect, grew up on the street where the Peekaboo House is located, and a love for the local Balmain area really shines through in his design response. For him, the window is perfectly placed to overlook the ‘best backyard in Balmain’, aka Punch Park.