A House Revived From The 1990s

There is a lot of 90s nostalgia at the moment – possibly because in a time of climate crisis and global instability, it is comforting to reflect on a time where our biggest responsibilities were keeping a tamagotchi alive or re-winding the video before returning it to Blockbuster.

For CO-AP architects, this Balmain home presented an opportunity to bring a 90s semi-detached single-storey home into the contemporary era. The renovation floods the property with natural light, increases green spaces and introduces a two-storey rear addition. Some 90s trends can probably stay in the past, but as Beyonce has shown us, evolution (or in this case, renovation) can bring the past into a vibrant present!

Miriam McGarry

A semi-detached single-storey home gets a contemporary, and two-storey addition. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

90s from the outside, 2010s from the inside. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

A clean and simple palette of terracotta, timber and concrete. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

Kitchen detail in the Balmain Semi home. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

The new design welcomes light into the home. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

A serene and understate vibe. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

Off-form concrete and Australian timber was used in new rear addition. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

The clients chose to develop the landscaping and garden, rather than use the space for off-street parking. Photo – Murray Fredericks.

Not a bad view! Photo – Murray Fredericks.

Miriam McGarry
21st of May 2019

The builder / developer owner of this 1990s two bedroom semi-detached home in Balmain approached CO-AP Architects with a brief to complete the design detail and interiors for an existing planning-approved renovation, and to extend the home via a new two-storey rear addition. Architect Will Fung explains that ‘maximising daylight and green space was a priority’.

Natural light is now encouraged into the home though a series of skylights that Will highlights ‘flood through the upper floor bedroom and penetrate deep into the original house via a new stairwell.’ An elevated planter filled with verdant succulents provides a living privacy screen, and brings fresh greenery into the home.

The interiors mix salvaged structural timbers from the original building (repurposed as stair treads and shelving) with a fresh and simple palette of concrete, terracotta, and stone. Off-form concrete and Australian timber were used in the rear addition, and these materials are echoed between the old and new spaces.

Under the guidance of the client, the architects worked to improve the existing garden through landscaping, rather than create off-street parking. Parks over parking!

Recent Architecture