This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Home With Two Personalities

Architecture

In her award-winning novel ‘How To Be Both’, author Ali Smith writes ‘beauty in its most completeness is never found in a single body, but is something shared instead between more than one body.’ While Ali was writing about an Italian Renaissance artist, the sentiment of separate identities coming together to create beauty is equally relevant today, and clearly evident in this architectural home!

We chat with architect Christopher Polly about designing the Binary House, a unique family home composed in two elegant parts.

15th November, 2018

The Binary House by Christopher Polly Architect. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The kitchen in the new addition. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The 60s yellow brick ‘front house’ belies the modern extension in the rear! Photo – Brett Boardman.

The clients considered expansive living and dining spaces a major priority in the new design. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Incredible connection between indoor/outdoor. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Demonstrating the differences between the two ‘personalities’ of the 60s original facade and the contemporary addition! Photo – Brett Boardman.

The double-height living areas offer a generous sense of space. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Seamless transition between the two distinct halves. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The bathroom in the new addition. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Another view of old vs new. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 15th November 2018

The initial brief for this stunning home was to transform a small three-bedroom dwelling without a dining room, into a four-room house with generous living and dining space. Architect Christopher Polly explains how this vision shaped the inventive design of the property, which is composed in two elegant parts – resulting in a double design!

The Binary House maintains the original street façade and ‘front house’, before the 1960s yellow brick home opens into an expansive rear addition. Christopher describes the dual composition as ‘a cellular and private front to the street, with an open and public rear that expands to its landscape setting.’ Private/public, old/new, contained/expansive – this property explores multiple contrasts to create a cohesive whole!

Christopher highlights how the original bungalow connects to the new addition through a ‘sharply folding form’ that ‘unlocks’ the front hall, light-filled courtyards, and connects the private and public spaces within the home. The new two-story pavilion includes a double-height living area, and this generous space is flooded with light and connected to the garden with landscape views.

The materials in the house amplify the binary concept, while also binding the property together. The brickwork in the new pavilions echoes the original structure, ‘while its binary play of considered honey and grey tones strongly reference the exterior yellow brick and grey metal of the two distinct structures’ Christopher explains.

The home’s double identities are singularly aligned in promoting a strong connection to place and landscape. The building offers privacy from neighbours, while simultaneously encouraging engagement with the garden and courtyard spaces. Two strong design elements, one incredible home!

This Week

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.
Sasha Gattermayr
  19 hours ago

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home That Invites The Outside In

A 1920’s brick bungalow in Hobart gets a modern revamp by Archier.

Architecture

Extended And Updated In Albert Park

Tandem Studio works with the bones of a heritage listed house to create a contemporary solution for a young family.

Architecture

A House That Leans Into The Land

A clever design response to a challenging site in Ballarat by Moloney Architects.

This Week

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.
Sasha Gattermayr
  19 hours ago

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....
Lucy Feagins
  9 hours ago

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!
Sasha Gattermayr
  11 hours ago

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home That Invites The Outside In

A 1920’s brick bungalow in Hobart gets a modern revamp.

Architecture

Extended And Updated In Albert Park

Tandem Studio works with the bones of a heritage listed house to create a contemporary solution for a young family.

Architecture

A House That Leans Into The Land

A clever design response to a challenging site in Ballarat by Moloney Architects.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.